greg hughes - dot net - Mobile http://www.greghughes.net/rant/ Note that the contents of this site represent my own thoughts and opinions, not those of anyone else - like my employer - or even my dog for that matter. Besides, the dog would post things that make sense. I don't. http://www.greghughes.net/images/gregheadshot1.png greg hughes - dot net - Mobile http://www.greghughes.net/rant/ en-us Greg Hughes Wed, 19 Oct 2011 07:40:31 GMT newtelligence dasBlog 2.1.8015.804 greg@greghughes.net greg@greghughes.net http://www.greghughes.net/rant/Trackback.aspx?guid=f858bf36-1427-4948-88e5-51726865bcb1 http://www.greghughes.net/rant/pingback.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/PermaLink,guid,f858bf36-1427-4948-88e5-51726865bcb1.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/CommentView,guid,f858bf36-1427-4948-88e5-51726865bcb1.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/SyndicationService.asmx/GetEntryCommentsRss?guid=f858bf36-1427-4948-88e5-51726865bcb1 3

What if I told you that you could now have Google voice working with an iPhone’s native phone and messaging apps -- much like you can with Android -- and that you don’t have to jailbreak or install the Google Voice iOS app to do it? Yep. Read on!

Last week I ordered an iPhone 4S from Sprint. That’s my carrier since I left AT&T well over a year ago, and I’ve been a Android user on Sprint since I made the move. But before that I was an avid iPhone owner, happy with the phone and reluctant to drop it. But AT&T woes finally forced my move. Now, for the record I like Android. One of the great benefits of an Android phone for me over the past year has been the fact that the Google Voice service can be built right in, native to the phone. For those not familiar, Google Voice (lots of info is available here) is a service that gives you “one phone number for life.” You give that one phone number to people, and that numbers is used to ring all your phones – cell phones, home phones, work phones, whatever – in whatever manner and schedule you choose. If you switch providers and get a new cell number or iphone4s-1home or work number, no worries. Just update your Google Voice account with your new or additional numbers, and you main GV number that you give out to everyone will ring the new ones, presto zappo bango. Google Voice also provides text messaging services and voice mail, accessible on a mobile phone via mobile web or a smartphone apps, as well as through a web browser on your laptop or desktop computer.

For quite some time an iPhone app has been available that one can install on the phone, which allows you to place calls, send text messages and get voicemail from your Google Voice account. But you have to do all of those things in the Google Voice app. So, it’s a little clunky – think of it as an extra, non-default phone dialer and text messaging app that sits alongside and kind of duplicates the purpose of your iPhone’s native dialing and messaging apps. In other words, to use Google Voice on the iPhone with the app, you have to use your iPhone differently.

But – thanks to Sprint and the fact that they now have the iPhone 4/4S in their inventory – we no longer need to use the Google Voice iPhone app and can get practically full functionality, using the apps that are native to the iPhone.

Problem? Solved!

Earlier this year, Sprint and Google announced they were joining forces (loosely) and providing the ability to integrate your Sprint wireless account with Google Voice in a manner that would allow you either to use your existing GV number as your mobile number, or alternatively to use your existing Sprint phone number as your Google Voice number. When you set the service up that way, Google Voice becomes your voice mail system and you get all the messaging and calling benefits of Google Voice, too. And, it works with all Sprint-branded mobile phones, not just Android – which is a real differentiator vs. the other wireless carriers.

The beauty of it all: You can set up Google Voice integrated with your Sprint account to both send and receive phone calls and text messages from the native iPhone app interfaces, without the need to jailbreak your phone to install third party apps/hacks, and without the need to install the Google Voice iOS app. People you call or send a text message to will see your Google Voice number in caller ID or as the message sender. Voice mail access works a little differently, but we’ll cover that in a bit.

google-voice-cartoon-logoFor discussion purposes to try simplify things, I’m going to refer to this integrated-Google-Voice-Sprint-Account customer experience as “Sprint Integration” for the remainder of this post.

It’s also probably worth pointing out that there are a couple of practical limitations (which are in no way related to the iPhone) that some people run into when setting up their Sprint Integration.

  • First of all, if you have a Sprint calling plan that is business-liable (as opposed to a personal phone account), the integration is not supported or enabled. Some individual Sprint customers own their own phones and pay their own bills, but because they got an employer’s corporate discount or similar situation their account is actually flagged as a business account. That should be pretty simple to fix in most cases with a call to Sprint customer service. But just know that actual business accounts are not eligible.
  • In addition, if you’ve set up phone call or SMS blocking or filtering through Sprint, you won’t be able to integrate your line with Google Voice until you disable those features in your Sprint account -- but note that Google Voice can usually enable you to do effectively the same thing.

So, how do I make this work?

It’s actually pretty simple. I won’t go into every single detail here, but I will cover the basics. I’m going to assume you can set up a Google Voice account, and if you need more information use the links above to learn everything you need to know.

Okay. First of all, there are a few things you need to make this work:

  1. An iPhone 4 or 4S provided by Sprint (no, this process can’t and won’t work with an AT&T or Verizon iPhone).
  2. A Sprint plan that is not a corporate/business plan. Family plans are fine, as long as they are not a business-liable plan.
  3. No call or text blocking/filtering configured in your Sprint account.
  4. A Google Voice account (they’re free) that has a phone number already assigned (in other words, not just the GMail-based “Google Voice Lite” thing – upgrade if necessary).
  5. About 15 to 30 minutes of free time.

To start, once you have logged into your Google Voice account, you’ll need to go to the Settings menu (by clicking the gear icon on the GV screen, over in the upper right area). Then navigate to the “Phones” section of the Google Voice settings. Here you’ll see any forwarding phones you’ve already set up in Google Voice.

A side note: If you already have another Sprint phone line set up in Google Voice with Sprint integration enabled, you cannot set up a second Sprint-integrated line on the same GV account. That’s not really documented anywhere, so I found this out the hard way since my Android phone was already fully integrated before I got my iPhone. So, when I added the iPhone to my Google Voice account I wasn’t even given the option to enable the Sprint integration. What this means is that if you already have one Sprint phone integrated, you’ll either need to disable the Sprint integration on that line or use a different Google Voice account to set up your new Sprint number on. I had troubles deactivating the Sprint integration on my Android phone, so had to search down help from both Sprint and Google so it could be manually deprovisioned. Hopefully you won’t run into that problem - but let me know if you do and I will try to point you in the right direction…

If the Sprint number you want to integrate has not already been added to your configured phones in Google Voice, you’ll need to do that now: At the bottom of the list of configured calling devices (phones, GMail chat, etc.) is a link you can click to “Add another phone.” Follow the simple instructions, enter the codes it promts you to use, and in a minute or three you’ll have your Sprint mobile SprintIntegrationGoogleVoicephone number set up and working in Google Voice is basic mode. You’re not completely done yet, but you’re close. For now, make a call from another phone to your Google Voice number and validate that your newly-added phone rings, just to verify everything is working properly. Remember: Test often, and at each step. It’s a good habit to get into when it comes to “mashing up” multiple computer/technology systems.

Next, take a look at the entry for your iPhone in the GV Phones list (in Settings). You should find a Sprint logo on the screen, next to the nickname you gave your iPhone phone, as well as a link that says “Check eligibility for Sprint integration.” Click on that link.

You’ll need to choose between the two available options: Do you 1) want your Sprint mobile number to become your new Google Voice number, or do you 2) want to replace your Sprint mobile number with your GV number? If everyone has and knows your Sprint phone number, then you can choose option one, so you don’t have to distribute a new phone number to everyone. But, if you’ve already given your Google Voice number out to people who need to reach you, you’ll choose option two like I did. The net effect of that choice in the end will be that when you place calls and send messages from your Sprint phone, the recipient of the call or text message will see your Google Voice number in Caller ID and on the text message. And that’s really the point.

So -- Make the choice appropriate for your situation, then wait patiently for several seconds while the Google Voice communicates in the background with Sprint. Before you know it both companies’ systems will be provisioned to handle your calls all mash-up-cyborg-app style. If successful, you will see a message that tells you:

Your Sprint number, (000) 000-0000 is now integrated with Google Voice.
Calls and text sent from this phone will display your Google Voice number.
Your Sprint voicemail has been replaced with Google voicemail.
International calls from this phone will be placed through Google Voice.

Now you’ll probably want to set up a voice mail greeting in Google Voice if you don’t already have one (or just use the generic default if you prefer (yuck)).

Testing, testing…

Your next step should be to place a phone call to a number that’s not attached to a Google Voice account (like a friend’s cell phone) and verify that the caller ID shows the correct number.

Next, make sure “Receive text messages on this phone” is checked in the Google Voice setting for your line, and then send a text message to a non-GV phone to make sure it’s sent using the correct number.

Note: It’s actually important to use non-Google-Voice phones for these test calls and text messages, since GV can recognize when one GV enabled phone is communicating with another GV number, and will sometimes try to be “helpful” and modify the normal process of displaying Caller ID data.

Success!

If the proper phone number is displayed on calls and text messages sent from the iPhone native Phone and Messages apps, and if your iPhone rings when someone calls your Google Voice number, you’re all set!

What about voice mail?

The only thing that won’t work natively in the iPhone apps in this configuration is visual voice mail. Since the iPhone’s visual voice mail app doesn’t recognize Google Voice from the voice message perspective, you have a couple choices here:

  1. Configure Google Voice in your browser to email you link to any voice mails (on the Voicemail & Text tab in Settings), and/or
  2. Check the box in the list for your integrated phone (on the Phones tab in Settings) to enable Google Voice send you a text message when a new voice mail is received

Compatibility, continued…

This integration works – as I started to explain earlier – with any “Sprint branded” phone. That doesn’t mean phones that have a Sprint logo painted on them, but rather refers to phones provided under contract by Sprint that operate on the Sprint CDMA network (not Nextel, nor the other carriers that piggyback on Sprint’s network). And, just to be clear one last time, Sprint is the only current service option for native integration of Google voice on an iPhone as described here. So, if you have AT&T or Verizon, sorry pal… No native app integration for you, at least not yet. You’ll just have to use the Google Voice iOS app, which you can download free from the Apple App Store.

And honestly -- If you’re thinking about getting an iPhone 4 or 4S and are leaning toward Verizon or AT&T – stop and consider this:

  • Sprint’s mobile service costs less than both Verizon’s and AT&T’s
  • Sprint’s plan actually allows unlimited data usage, while Verizon’s is capped – as is AT&T’s
  • When Sprint customers roam, it’s free of charge – and it’s on Verizon’s network (!)
  • Dropped calls? Not in my experience, which is a far cry from what I dealt with on AT&T…
  • Did I mention Sprint’s service costs less?

So – lower cost, you get to use the other guy’s network for free when needed, and no data caps. Sure, download speeds *might* be marginally slower here and there (and even that’s a debatable point), but there’s one more benefit you should know about: Sprint lets you sign up, get the phone and service, and try it our for 14 days. If you don’t like it, cancel your service and return the phone in good and complete condition where you bought it, and you’ll walk away with a refund for the price of the device and any early termination fee you paid. You will pay for the service you used and probably for the activation fee as well (unless you cancel service within the first 3 days), but nothing more.

If I sound like a Sprint commercial, trust me - I’m not. I’m just a customer that likes my wireless provider – and for what it’s worth, I’m a pretty darn picky customer.

Got questions about the Sprint iPhone integration with Google Voice? Post them in the comments and where it makes sense, I’ll update this post with details I may have missed. And be sure to share your iPhone integration success stories as well!



greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2009 - licensed under a Creative Commons License. Use your Sprint iPhone 4 native Phone and Message/SMS apps integrated directly with Google Voice http://www.greghughes.net/rant/PermaLink,guid,f858bf36-1427-4948-88e5-51726865bcb1.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/UseYourSprintIPhone4NativePhoneAndMessageSMSAppsIntegratedDirectlyWithGoogleVoice.aspx Wed, 19 Oct 2011 07:40:31 GMT <p> <em>What if I told you that you could now have Google voice working with an iPhone’s native phone and messaging apps -- much like you can with Android -- and that you don’t have to jailbreak or install the Google Voice iOS app to do it? Yep. Read on!</em> </p> <p> Last week I ordered <a href="http://www.sprint.com/landings/iphone/" target="_blank">an iPhone 4S from Sprint</a>. That’s my carrier since I <a href="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/DearATampTYoursquoreFired.aspx">left AT&amp;T</a> well over a year ago, and I’ve been a <a href="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/DearSprintAndHTCAndAndroidYoursquoreHired.aspx">Android user on Sprint</a> since I made the move. But before that I was an avid iPhone owner, happy with the phone and reluctant to drop it. But AT&amp;T woes finally forced my move. Now, for the record I like Android. One of the great benefits of an Android phone for me over the past year has been the fact that the <a href="http://www.google.com/voice/" target="_blank">Google Voice</a> service can be built right in, native to the phone. For those not familiar, Google Voice (lots of info is <a href="http://www.google.com/googlevoice/about.html" target="_blank">available here</a>) is a service that gives you “one phone number for life.” You give that one phone number to people, and that numbers is used to ring all your phones – cell phones, home phones, work phones, whatever – in whatever manner and schedule you choose. If you switch providers and get a new cell number or <img style="background-image: none; border-right-width: 0px; margin: 10px 0px 10px 15px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; display: inline; float: right; border-top-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; padding-top: 0px" title="iphone4s-1" border="0" alt="iphone4s-1" align="right" src="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/content/binary/Windows-Live-Writer/3a4447d93907_A4FD/iphone4s-1_3.jpg" width="225" height="300">home or work number, no worries. Just update your Google Voice account with your new or additional numbers, and you main GV number that you give out to everyone will ring the new ones, presto zappo bango. Google Voice also provides text messaging services and voice mail, accessible on a mobile phone via mobile web or a smartphone apps, as well as through a web browser on your laptop or desktop computer. </p> <p> For quite some time an iPhone app has been available that one can install on the phone, which allows you to place calls, send text messages and get voicemail from your Google Voice account. But you have to do all of those things <em>in the Google Voice app</em>. So, it’s a little clunky – think of it as an extra, non-default phone dialer and text messaging app that sits alongside and kind of duplicates the purpose of your iPhone’s native dialing and messaging apps. In other words, to use Google Voice on the iPhone with the app, you have to use your iPhone differently. </p> <p> But – thanks to Sprint and the fact that they now have the iPhone 4/4S in their inventory – we no longer need to use the Google Voice iPhone app and can get practically full functionality, using the apps that are native to the iPhone. </p> <p> <strong>Problem? Solved!</strong> </p> <p> Earlier this year, Sprint and Google announced they were joining forces (loosely) and providing the <a href="http://www.google.com/googlevoice/sprint/" target="_blank">ability to integrate your Sprint wireless account with Google Voice</a> in a manner that would allow you either to use your existing GV number as your mobile number, or alternatively to use your existing Sprint phone number as your Google Voice number. When you set the service up that way, Google Voice becomes your voice mail system and you get all the messaging and calling benefits of Google Voice, too. And, it works with all Sprint-branded mobile phones, not just Android – which is a real differentiator vs. the other wireless carriers. </p> <p> The beauty of it all: You can set up Google Voice integrated with your Sprint account to <em>both send and receive phone calls and text messages from the native iPhone app interfaces</em>, without the need to jailbreak your phone to install third party apps/hacks, and without the need to install the Google Voice iOS app. People you call or send a text message to will see your Google Voice number in caller ID or as the message sender. Voice mail access works a little differently, but we’ll cover that in a bit. </p> <p> <img style="background-image: none; border-right-width: 0px; margin: 10px 0px 10px 15px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; display: inline; float: right; border-top-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; padding-top: 0px" title="google-voice-cartoon-logo" border="0" alt="google-voice-cartoon-logo" align="right" src="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/content/binary/Windows-Live-Writer/3a4447d93907_A4FD/google-voice-cartoon-logo_3.png" width="354" height="125">For discussion purposes to try simplify things, I’m going to refer to this integrated-Google-Voice-Sprint-Account customer experience as “Sprint Integration” for the remainder of this post. </p> <p> It’s also probably worth pointing out that there are a couple of practical limitations (which are in no way related to the iPhone) that some people run into when setting up their Sprint Integration. </p> <ul> <li> First of all, if you have a Sprint calling plan that is business-liable (as opposed to a personal phone account), the integration is not supported or enabled. Some individual Sprint customers own their own phones and pay their own bills, but because they got an employer’s corporate discount or similar situation their account is actually flagged as a business account. That should be pretty simple to fix in most cases with a call to Sprint customer service. But just know that actual business accounts are not eligible. <li> In addition, if you’ve set up phone call or SMS blocking or filtering through Sprint, you won’t be able to integrate your line with Google Voice until you disable those features in your Sprint account -- but note that Google Voice can usually enable you to do effectively the same thing.</li> </ul> <p> <strong>So, how do I make this work?</strong> </p> <p> It’s actually pretty simple. I won’t go into every single detail here, but I will cover the basics. I’m going to assume you can set up a Google Voice account, and if you need more information use the links above to learn everything you need to know. </p> <p> Okay. First of all, there are a few things you need to make this work: </p> <ol> <li> An iPhone 4 or 4S provided by Sprint (no, this process can’t and won’t work with an AT&amp;T or Verizon iPhone). <li> A Sprint plan that is not a corporate/business plan. Family plans are fine, as long as they are not a business-liable plan. <li> No call or text blocking/filtering configured in your Sprint account. <li> A Google Voice account (they’re free) that has a phone number already assigned (in other words, not just the GMail-based “Google Voice Lite” thing – upgrade if necessary). <li> About 15 to 30 minutes of free time.</li> </ol> <p> To start, once you have logged into your Google Voice account, you’ll need to go to the Settings menu (by clicking the gear icon on the GV screen, over in the upper right area). Then navigate to the “Phones” section of the Google Voice settings. Here you’ll see any forwarding phones you’ve already set up in Google Voice. </p> <blockquote> <p> <em>A side note: If you already have another Sprint phone line set up in Google Voice with Sprint integration enabled, you cannot set up a second Sprint-integrated line on the same GV account. That’s not really documented anywhere, so I found this out the hard way since my Android phone was already fully integrated before I got my iPhone. So, when I added the iPhone to my Google Voice account I wasn’t even given the option to enable the Sprint integration. What this means is that if you already have one Sprint phone integrated, you’ll either need to disable the Sprint integration on that line or use a different Google Voice account to set up your new Sprint number on. I had troubles deactivating the Sprint integration on my Android phone, so had to search down help from both Sprint and Google so it could be manually deprovisioned. Hopefully you won’t run into that problem - but let me know if you do and I will try to point you in the right direction…</em> </p> </blockquote> <p> If the Sprint number you want to integrate has not already been added to your configured phones in Google Voice, you’ll need to do that now: At the bottom of the list of configured calling devices (phones, GMail chat, etc.) is a link you can click to “Add another phone.” Follow the simple instructions, enter the codes it promts you to use, and in a minute or three you’ll have your Sprint mobile <a href="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/content/binary/Windows-Live-Writer/3a4447d93907_A4FD/SprintIntegrationGoogleVoice_4.png"><img style="background-image: none; border-bottom: 0px; border-left: 0px; margin: 10px 0px 10px 15px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; display: inline; float: right; border-top: 0px; border-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px" title="SprintIntegrationGoogleVoice" border="0" alt="SprintIntegrationGoogleVoice" align="right" src="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/content/binary/Windows-Live-Writer/3a4447d93907_A4FD/SprintIntegrationGoogleVoice_thumb_1.png" width="525" height="484"></a>phone number set up and working in Google Voice is basic mode. You’re not completely done yet, but you’re close. For now, make a call from another phone to your Google Voice number and validate that your newly-added phone rings, just to verify everything is working properly. Remember: Test often, and at each step. It’s a good habit to get into when it comes to “mashing up” multiple computer/technology systems. </p> <p> Next, take a look at the entry for your iPhone in the GV Phones list (in Settings). You should find a Sprint logo on the screen, next to the nickname you gave your iPhone phone, as well as a link that says “Check eligibility for Sprint integration.” Click on that link. </p> <p> You’ll need to choose between the two available options: Do you 1) want your Sprint mobile number to become your new Google Voice number, or do you 2) want to replace your Sprint mobile number with your GV number? If everyone has and knows your Sprint phone number, then you can choose option one, so you don’t have to distribute a new phone number to everyone. But, if you’ve already given your Google Voice number out to people who need to reach you, you’ll choose option two like I did. The net effect of that choice in the end will be that when you place calls and send messages from your Sprint phone, the recipient of the call or text message will see your Google Voice number in Caller ID and on the text message. And that’s really the point. </p> <p> So -- Make the choice appropriate for your situation, then wait patiently for several seconds while the Google Voice communicates in the background with Sprint. Before you know it both companies’ systems will be provisioned to handle your calls all mash-up-cyborg-app style. If successful, you will see a message that tells you: </p> <blockquote> <p> <em>Your Sprint number, (000) 000-0000 is now integrated with Google Voice.<br> Calls and text sent from this phone will display your Google Voice number.<br> Your Sprint voicemail has been replaced with Google voicemail.<br> International calls from this phone will be placed through Google Voice.</em> </p> </blockquote> <p> Now you’ll probably want to set up a voice mail greeting in Google Voice if you don’t already have one (or just use the generic default if you prefer (yuck)). </p> <p> <strong>Testing, testing…</strong> </p> <p> Your next step should be to place a phone call to a number that’s<em> not attached to a Google Voice account</em> (like a friend’s cell phone) and verify that the caller ID shows the correct number. </p> <p> Next, make sure “Receive text messages on this phone” is checked in the Google Voice setting for your line, and then send a text message to a non-GV phone to make sure it’s sent using the correct number. </p> <p> Note: It’s actually important to use non-Google-Voice phones for these test calls and text messages, since GV can recognize when one GV enabled phone is communicating with another GV number, and will sometimes try to be “helpful” and modify the normal process of displaying Caller ID data. </p> <p> <strong>Success!</strong> </p> <p> If the proper phone number is displayed on calls and text messages sent from the iPhone native Phone and Messages apps, and if your iPhone rings when someone calls your Google Voice number, you’re all set! </p> <p> <strong>What about voice mail?</strong> </p> <p> The only thing that won’t work natively in the iPhone apps in this configuration is visual voice mail. Since the iPhone’s visual voice mail app doesn’t recognize Google Voice from the voice message perspective, you have a couple choices here: </p> <ol> <li> Configure Google Voice in your browser to email you link to any voice mails (on the Voicemail &amp; Text tab in Settings), and/or <li> Check the box in the list for your integrated phone (on the Phones tab in Settings) to enable Google Voice send you a text message when a new voice mail is received</li> </ol> <p> <strong>Compatibility, continued…</strong> </p> <p> This integration works – as I started to explain earlier – with any “Sprint branded” phone. That doesn’t mean phones that have a Sprint logo painted on them, but rather refers to phones provided under contract by Sprint that operate on the Sprint CDMA network (not Nextel, nor the other carriers that piggyback on Sprint’s network). And, just to be clear one last time, Sprint is the only current service option for native integration of Google voice on an iPhone as described here. So, if you have AT&amp;T or Verizon, sorry pal… No native app integration for you, at least not yet. You’ll just have to use the Google Voice iOS app, which you can download free from the Apple App Store. </p> <p> And honestly -- If you’re thinking about getting an iPhone 4 or 4S and are leaning toward Verizon or AT&amp;T – stop and consider this: </p> <ul> <li> Sprint’s mobile service costs less than both Verizon’s and AT&amp;T’s <li> Sprint’s plan actually allows unlimited data usage, while Verizon’s is capped – as is AT&amp;T’s <li> When Sprint customers roam, it’s free of charge – and it’s on Verizon’s network (!) <li> Dropped calls? Not in my experience, which is a far cry from what I dealt with on AT&amp;T… <li> Did I mention Sprint’s service costs less?</li> </ul> <p> So – lower cost, you get to use the other guy’s network for free when needed, and no data caps. Sure, download speeds *might* be marginally slower here and there (and even that’s a debatable point), but there’s one more benefit you should know about: Sprint lets you sign up, get the phone and service, and try it our for 14 days. If you don’t like it, cancel your service and return the phone in good and complete condition where you bought it, and you’ll walk away with a refund for the price of the device and any early termination fee you paid. You will pay for the service you used and probably for the activation fee as well (unless you cancel service within the first 3 days), but nothing more. </p> <p> If I sound like a Sprint commercial, trust me - I’m not. I’m just a customer that likes my wireless provider – and for what it’s worth, I’m a pretty darn picky customer.<br> </p> <p> Got questions about the Sprint iPhone integration with Google Voice? Post them in the comments and where it makes sense, I’ll update this post with details I may have missed. And be sure to share your iPhone integration success stories as well! </p> <br /> <hr /> <font size="1">greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2009 - licensed under a <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">Creative Commons License</a>.</font> http://www.greghughes.net/rant/CommentView,guid,f858bf36-1427-4948-88e5-51726865bcb1.aspx Android Apple Google Voice Mobile Tech
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Siri is coming to the iPhone 4S on Friday, and already people are starting to discover the Apple virtual assistant has a but of a sense of humor.

To chronicle and record for humorous posterity all the unusual, funny, shocking or otherwise interesting crap Siri comes up with, I have created Darn Your Siri - http://www.darnyousiri.com - where anyone can post their funny Siri screenshots there, too - just go to the submission page. That name seemed a little less inappropriate than something like "shit Siri says" but I see that's also a site someone fired up. Of course they did! :)

To take a screen grab of any iPhone screen, hold down the home/round button while at the same time clicking teh power/sleep/wake button on top. The resulting screen grab JPG file is saved in your photo gallery on the iPhone.

I'll be seeing what all Siri has to say soon, when my phone arrives from Sprint on Friday.



greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2009 - licensed under a Creative Commons License. Funny stuff Siri Says: Siri coming to the new iPhone. Darn You Siri! http://www.greghughes.net/rant/PermaLink,guid,6f6971b8-82fc-4359-b9ff-545200aa5bf1.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/FunnyStuffSiriSaysSiriComingToTheNewIPhoneDarnYouSiri.aspx Fri, 14 Oct 2011 02:19:07 GMT <a href="http://www.darnyousiri.com"><img style="margin: 0px 0px 10px 15px; display: inline; float: right" border="0" align="right" src="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/content/binary/Darn-You-Siri.jpg" width="368" height="276"></a> <p> Siri is coming to the iPhone 4S on Friday, and already people are starting to discover the Apple virtual assistant has a but of a sense of humor. </p> <p> To chronicle and record for humorous posterity all the unusual, funny, shocking or otherwise interesting crap Siri comes up with, I have created Darn Your Siri - <a href="http://www.darnyousiri.com">http://www.darnyousiri.com</a> - where anyone can post their funny Siri screenshots there, too - just go to <a href="http://www.darnyousiri.com/submit">the submission page</a>. That name seemed a little less inappropriate than something like "shit Siri says" but I see that's also a site someone fired up. Of course they did! :) </p> <p> To take a screen grab of any iPhone screen, hold down the home/round button while at the same time clicking teh power/sleep/wake button on top. The resulting screen grab JPG file is saved in your photo gallery on the iPhone. </p> <p> I'll be seeing what all Siri has to say soon, when my phone arrives from Sprint on Friday. </p> <br /> <hr /> <font size="1">greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2009 - licensed under a <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">Creative Commons License</a>.</font> http://www.greghughes.net/rant/CommentView,guid,6f6971b8-82fc-4359-b9ff-545200aa5bf1.aspx Apple Humor Mobile Tech
http://www.greghughes.net/rant/Trackback.aspx?guid=9af522f6-35d2-4e93-a8a3-5e85d734ae85 http://www.greghughes.net/rant/pingback.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/PermaLink,guid,9af522f6-35d2-4e93-a8a3-5e85d734ae85.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/CommentView,guid,9af522f6-35d2-4e93-a8a3-5e85d734ae85.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/SyndicationService.asmx/GetEntryCommentsRss?guid=9af522f6-35d2-4e93-a8a3-5e85d734ae85 3 Upgrade to iPhone 4S on Sprint before upgrade eligibility without paying full price http://www.greghughes.net/rant/PermaLink,guid,9af522f6-35d2-4e93-a8a3-5e85d734ae85.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/UpgradeToIPhone4SOnSprintBeforeUpgradeEligibilityWithoutPayingFullPrice.aspx Fri, 07 Oct 2011 23:45:35 GMT <p> <em>Can I cancel my current Sprint account/plan and get a new iPhone 4S?</em> </p> <p> There's this new <a href="http://www.apple.com/iphone">iPhone</a> coming out - the iPhone 4S. Maybe you heard about it? Pretty nice device, really. I had iPhones exclusively for a few years from the time Apple came out with them - the original model and then the 3G. I never took the 3GS leap. </p> <p> But a year and a half ago I <a href="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/DearATampTYoursquoreFired.aspx">fired</a> AT&T out of frustration over continued poor service and moved over to Sprint. That meant I had to give up my iPhone, since AT&T was still the exclusive iPhone carrier. It also meant I never picked up an iPhone 4 model, other than the few times I made a call from a friend's phone. Instead I moved to an Android device, the Evo 4G (which I like, by the way). </p> <p> Now, let me say up front that I'm not sure if I really want to make a change back to the iPhone right now. The Android phone actually works pretty well for me, as far as the OS and phone itself are concerned. Frankly, I rarely use the 4G capability of the Evo, mostly because of the limited and often spotty 4G WiMax service. But when it works, it works pretty well. Since I made the move away from AT&T a year and a half ago, Verizon - and starting next week Sprint - have added the iPhone to their lineups. I miss some of the capabilities and features I used to get with the iPhone, especially when it comes to app integration between the Macbook, iPad and the iPhone for my aviation-related apps, which get a lot of use between the iPad and Mac these days. </p> <p> So, I decided to check and see what I'd have to shell out, should I decide I wanted to move to a new iPhone 4S on my Sprint account. The problem I foresaw was that I'm about six months away from the end of my current two-year contract. So, when logging into <a href="http://www.sprint.com">sprint.com</a> the system told me I'd have to pay full price to order a new iPhone 4s today. Of course, it also informed me I could wait 176 days for upgrade eligibility, and then get $150 off the full price. The rather alarming full prices are: </p> <ul> <li> 16GB iPhone 4S $649.99</li> <li> 32GB iPhone 4S $749.99</li> <li> 64GB iphone 4S $849.99</li> <li> 8GB iPhone 4 original $549.99</li> </ul> <p > <em>Ouch.</em> </p> <p> So, I can pay full price now or $499 for a 16GB model in 6 months (more for the larger models). I would guess (but am not certain) that at that time I might be able to also sign a new 2-year contract with Sprint and get an additional $200 off, which would theoretically put me at $299 for the 16GB model with a fresh two-year Sprint contract lock-up. Or is the $150-off-list- price deal dependent on a 2-year deal as well? I will have to ask about that. Either way, I'm at least $100 more than the prices announced the other day (which require a contract) </p> <p> Next I checked with Verizon, thinking maybe I could just cancel my Sprint service and go over there right away to get the subsidized price with a new two-year contract and not have to wait. Their prices were much more reasonable - and less than I'd pay at Sprint even if I waited for six more months and took the deal I already mentioned. Verizon's new account prices are: $99.00 for the original iPhone 4 and $199/$299$/399 for the new 4S models (also the same prices Sprint offer's it's new customers) </p> <p> I don't really want to cancel my Sprint service: I get (truly) unlimited data and messaging on Sprint - and you don't get that on the other carriers (there tends to be a 2GB limit). I have a family plan, which allows me to share minutes between two lines, free evenings and weekend, free calls to any mobile phone, and more. Plus their service has been great for me, and when I roam it's free and it's on Verizon's network. I basically get the best of both worlds network-wise. Oh, and the monthly price is right, too. I like Sprint. </p> <p> Out of curiosity, I logged back into my sprint.com account for another look, and decided to see what it would cost to <em>add an additional line</em> to my existing Sprint family plan and get a new iPhone that way. Maybe that would be cheaper? Ahh, what do you know - The site showed I could do just that and get the same two-year-commitment pricing as Verizon offered. Now we were getting somewhere! </p> <p> But I don't need or want two phones or two numbers. So finally I called Sprint and asked the helpful support rep what would happen if I *added* a new number and additional line of service to my existing family plan account (a third line costs $19.99 a month if I add it and share the pool of minutes I'm already paying for). My real question was this: Could I then immediately <em>cancel my original number/phone/service</em> from the family plan? </p> <p> "Sure you can do that," he said. I'ld have to pay a $90 early termination fee balance for the existing line (it's prorated from the original $200 fee (which Sprint recently increased to $350)), and they'd move my existing Sprint number to the new iPhone, too if I wanted. The Sprint rep even put me on hold and took the time to verify with management that was okay to do. Oh, <em>and</em> if I want they'll purchase the used Evo 4G through their <a href="http://www.sprintbuyback.com">buy-back program</a> and credit me $87 for it - which would pretty much negate the $90 early termination fee. Alternatively I could sell the Evo 4G to someone else if I wanted. Either way, it's not a bad deal. And the $19.99 a month fee for the third line would go away as soon as I cancelled the original line, too. </p> <p> So, based on what the Sprint rep told me it's doable - and fairly reasonable. They recover their costs through the balance of the early termination fee, and get a subscriber locked in for an additional two years (and the early-termination fee for the new phone would be $350.00). If I want, I can get an iPhone 4S without having to pay $650-$850 for the privilege. Sometimes all you have to do is ask the right questions. </p> <p> Not sure yet if I'll actually decide to get an iPhone 4S. I'd have to think carefully about what I'd lose in the process, app-wise. <strike>One big red flag is that I use Google Voice exclusively for calling and text messages, and it's all Frankenstein-style-built-in on Android natively via the Google Voice app. Not so much on iPhone.</strike> <b>Update:</b> I picked up a Sprint iPhone and was able to pretty much fully integrate Google Voice without having to use the Google Voice app, <a href="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/UseYourSprintIPhone4NativePhoneAndMessageSMSAppsIntegratedDirectlyWithGoogleVoice.aspx">full information here</a>. </p> <p> So that's one important trade-off to consider, along with the change Sprint made on September 9th: They now charge a $350 termination fee (the same as Verizon and AT&T) that's pro-rated depending on the number of months left on a subscriber's contract. But regardless, it's good to know that if one wants to make the move, it appears there's a reasonable way to do it. </p> <br /> <hr /> <font size="1">greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2009 - licensed under a <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">Creative Commons License</a>.</font> http://www.greghughes.net/rant/CommentView,guid,9af522f6-35d2-4e93-a8a3-5e85d734ae85.aspx Android Apple Mobile Tech http://www.greghughes.net/rant/Trackback.aspx?guid=980dd58c-797a-4df1-8854-c48987b7ea13 http://www.greghughes.net/rant/pingback.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/PermaLink,guid,980dd58c-797a-4df1-8854-c48987b7ea13.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/CommentView,guid,980dd58c-797a-4df1-8854-c48987b7ea13.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/SyndicationService.asmx/GetEntryCommentsRss?guid=980dd58c-797a-4df1-8854-c48987b7ea13 1 Why is your iPhone/iPad tracking all of your location info? http://www.greghughes.net/rant/PermaLink,guid,980dd58c-797a-4df1-8854-c48987b7ea13.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/WhyIsYourIPhoneiPadTrackingAllOfYourLocationInfo.aspx Thu, 21 Apr 2011 01:25:29 GMT <p> <em><strong>Update: </strong>Apple has <a href="http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2011/04/27location_qa.html">posted a Q&A page with information about the data in question</a>, exactly what that data is, and changes they have planned.</em> </p> <p> This is, well... it's at least very interesting. Which is to say, it’s something that has to make you wonder: Even when core location tracking is not active, <a href="http://radar.oreilly.com/2011/04/apple-location-tracking.html" target="_blank">apparently your iOS4 device is keeping a log of everywhere it goes</a>. Which is to say, everywhere it goes with you. </p> <p> The four images here are a visualization of the info harvested from my own iPad, retrieved automatically from a iTunes backup of my iPad on my Mac (click on each of the images to view full-size). I should note that the locations are actually displayed in a less accurate fashion (visually) by the program that generates the map plots, so as to somewhat avoid any issues and abuse associated with exact location tracking. The information in the data file being analyzed is substantially more accurate and detailed. </p> <p> From cell tower triangulation (it appears this is where the data comes from), you can see a cross country trip I took with a friend from New York to New Mexico, visits to the Denver/Boulder area, and of course a whole slew of travel around the Pacific northwest, where I live. </p> <p> <a href="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/content/binary/screen-capture-map1.png" class="image-link"><img class="linked-to-original" src="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/content/binary/screen-capture-map1-thumb.png" height="282" align="left" width="380" /></a> </p> <p> <a href="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/content/binary/screen-capture-map2.png" class="image-link"><img class="linked-to-original" src="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/content/binary/screen-capture-map2-thumb.png" height="286" align="left" width="380" /></a> </p> <p> <a href="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/content/binary/screen-capture-map3.png" class="image-link"><img class="linked-to-original" src="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/content/binary/screen-capture-map3-thumb.png" height="285" align="left" width="378" /></a> </p> <p> <a href="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/content/binary/screen-capture-map4.png" class="image-link"><img class="linked-to-original" src="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/content/binary/screen-capture-map4-thumb.png" height="285" align="left" width="378" /></a>Also of interest is that I very recently (within the past two months) had my iPad replaced when the sync jack went bad, yet much of the data is from the old iPad in addition to the new one. Obviously when I restored a backup on the old one to the new one, the data was retained as part of the restore. Interesting. Also, there's location info that's recorded on mine, and in some cases I don't see the location data for areas I know I have been to. I'm not completely sure of the rhyme or reason for that.<br /> <br /> Video of the two guys who discovered this and created the visualization program <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GynEFV4hsA0" target="_blank">is here</a>. They discuss how this was discovered and go into some detail about the data, where it lives and what they found. Video is via the Where 2.0 conference. </p> <p> Got a 3G iPhone or iPad? You can <a href="http://petewarden.github.com/iPhoneTracker/" target="_blank">run the "iPhone Tracker" app</a> on your own Mac and see what your iTunes backup has sitting around on your computer. If your iTunes backups are encrypted (not a default setting) the data is still there but it's not readable. </p> <p> On it's face and in isolation this is not exactly a huge deal. The location data is not being sent anywhere as far as we know. It resides on your iPad or iPhone (3G models) and on your computer where you sync to iTunes. Well, that's assuming you don't sync to someone else's computer, of course. In that case, they might have your location data available to view and play with. </p> <p> And really, that's why this <em>could</em> be a big deal, on some level. And it's not just that the data is being collected, cataloged, stored and exists, it's that it's <em>been</em> there since iOS4 was released, and we didn't know because no one really noticed until now. Someone had to get curious, poke around, dig into the data and discover it by accident. Makes you wonder what other info might be hanging around in places we don't know about, eh? </p> <p> Hopefully Apple will explain exactly what all the data is, why it's there and how it's used - in great detail. It can't be there for no reason, and I can think of a few cool reasons for collecting the data, but unencrypted and no notification of tracking is a little concerning to me. I'm looking forward to hearing from Apple to understand more. </p> <br /> <hr /> <font size="1">greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2009 - licensed under a <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">Creative Commons License</a>.</font> http://www.greghughes.net/rant/CommentView,guid,980dd58c-797a-4df1-8854-c48987b7ea13.aspx Apple IT Security Mobile http://www.greghughes.net/rant/Trackback.aspx?guid=e1c0060e-1bda-463d-a7ba-eebb09604162 http://www.greghughes.net/rant/pingback.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/PermaLink,guid,e1c0060e-1bda-463d-a7ba-eebb09604162.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/CommentView,guid,e1c0060e-1bda-463d-a7ba-eebb09604162.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/SyndicationService.asmx/GetEntryCommentsRss?guid=e1c0060e-1bda-463d-a7ba-eebb09604162 1

I’ve been a Google Voice (and before that GrandCentral) user for a few years now. It’s a terrific service that provides One Phone Number to Rule Them All, so to speak. You can associate multiple different phone accounts (land, mobile, satellite, whatever suits you) with one Google Voice number and can change them at any time. So, anyone can dial or send text messages to your Google Voice number, and you control which phones ring and when, and where your text messages go.

Today Google announced that they are offering a service for $20 that allows you to port your existing mobile phone number to Google Voice, which means you can start using GV without having to take on a whole new phone number. That’s a great thing when you want to avoid the hassles of getting people to start using a new number.

But there are a few things you should know before you make this move, so you can be sure it’s for you.

Google Voice supports most – but but not all – of the features you have on a typical mobile/smart-phone plan. Certainly you will be able to receive calls, get voice mail, and send/receive text messages (especially on Android with the awesome GV app).

There are, however, a few common mobile features that are not supported by Google Voice:

  • Multi-media Messaging Service (MMS): If you like to send video, picture or audio messages to your friends and family, Google Voice can’t do this. I regularly have to tell people trying to send me their video or picture to send it to my email or my actual cell phone number provided by the carrier (which I don’t give out – that would defeat the whole purpose of Google Voice). So, if MMS and one number if critical for you, you should wait until GV gets around to supporting this.
  • Calls to your Google Voice number are not counted as calls to a mobile number for the purpose of mobile carrier call plans. So mobile-to-mobile minutes won’t get accounted for in the same way.
  • With a couple of exceptions, calls you make from phones attached to you Google Voice account will not show up on called ID as having come from your Google Voice number. The exceptions to this are when calls are initiated through the GV web app (in which case Google’s systems dial you up on your phone then connect you to the person you’re dialing) and a few of the GV mobile apps like the ones for Android and iPhone. The Android app actually builds itself into the Android OS’ dialing system and it’s truly seamless. On the iPhone you need to dial using the Google Voice app.
  • For text messages to be sent to mobile phones and for them to appear as coming from your GV account phone number, they need to be sent through the GV service, too. This means using the Google Voice interface on Android OS (which you can set as your text messaging default, by the way), via the iPhone app, etc., or from the most useful Google Voice web app interface mentioned earlier. I use the web app all the time for text messaging from my computer browser. But it’s different, so you need to realize that.
  • Text messages sent by applications and to/from short message codes (like Skype, your bank, etc.) don’t work.

That said, Google Voice is a terrific service that lets you have one phone number that can ring and deliver messages across several other phones. I use two Google Voice numbers – one I give out as my home phone and the other is for work calls. If I am working from my home office, both numbers cause my home phone to ring, but no one actually knows the number of my home phone – they just know the GV number that I gave them. If I move or far whatever reason change hone phone or work or cell phone numbers, I don’t have to worry about telling anyone. I just change the associated numbers in my Google Voice account. If I am on vacation somewhere across the country for a few days and want calls made to my home GV number - but only from my family members - to ring a phone number at my friend’s house, but only after 8am and before 11pm, and not during the next two hours because I want to get a nap… Google Voice can do that for me, too. It’s really quite powerful and easy to set up.

You can set schedules for different phones, and having a complete history of every call, voice mail and text message available in the browser app is really very nice. If any of the phone numbers associated with the different phones you have connected to your GV account and number should change in the future, there’s no need to tell the world. The people you know can just keep dialing your GV number, and in the background you can change that number that AT&T gave you back in the day when you got your first iPhone and point it at your new Verizon number. Hey, I’m just sayin’...

More information about porting numbers and Google Voice in general can be found at:



greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2009 - licensed under a Creative Commons License. Google Voice lets you port your mobile number &ndash; but be aware of the tradeoffs http://www.greghughes.net/rant/PermaLink,guid,e1c0060e-1bda-463d-a7ba-eebb09604162.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/GoogleVoiceLetsYouPortYourMobileNumberNdashButBeAwareOfTheTradeoffs.aspx Tue, 25 Jan 2011 21:43:25 GMT <p> I’ve been a Google Voice (and before that GrandCentral) user for a few years now. It’s a terrific service that provides One Phone Number to Rule Them All, so to speak. You can associate multiple different phone accounts (land, mobile, satellite, whatever suits you) with one Google Voice number and can change them at any time. So, anyone can dial or send text messages to your Google Voice number, and you control which phones ring and when, and where your text messages go. </p> <p> Today <a href="http://googlevoiceblog.blogspot.com/2011/01/port-your-existing-mobile-number-to.html" target="_blank">Google announced that they are offering a service for $20 that allows you to port your existing mobile phone number to Google Voice</a>, which means you can start using GV without having to take on a whole new phone number. That’s a great thing when you want to avoid the hassles of getting people to start using a new number. </p> <p> But there are a few things you should know before you make this move, so you can be sure it’s for you. </p> <p> Google Voice supports most – but but not all – of the features you have on a typical mobile/smart-phone plan. Certainly you will be able to receive calls, get voice mail, and send/receive text messages (especially on Android with the awesome GV app). </p> <p> There are, however, a few common mobile features that <em>are not supported by Google Voice</em>: </p> <ul> <li> Multi-media Messaging Service (MMS): If you like to send video, picture or audio messages to your friends and family, Google Voice can’t do this. I regularly have to tell people trying to send me their video or picture to send it to my email or my actual cell phone number provided by the carrier (which I don’t give out – that would defeat the whole purpose of Google Voice). So, if MMS and one number if critical for you, you should wait until GV gets around to supporting this.</li> <li> Calls to your Google Voice number are not counted as calls to a mobile number for the purpose of mobile carrier call plans. So mobile-to-mobile minutes won’t get accounted for in the same way.</li> <li> With a couple of exceptions, calls you make from phones attached to you Google Voice account will not show up on called ID as having come from your Google Voice number. The exceptions to this are when calls are initiated through the GV web app (in which case Google’s systems dial you up on your phone then connect you to the person you’re dialing) and a few of the GV mobile apps like the ones for Android and iPhone. The Android app actually builds itself into the Android OS’ dialing system and it’s truly seamless. On the iPhone you need to dial using the Google Voice app.</li> <li> For text messages to be sent to mobile phones and for them to appear as coming from your GV account phone number, they need to be sent through the GV service, too. This means using the Google Voice interface on Android OS (which you can set as your text messaging default, by the way), via the iPhone app, etc., or from the most useful Google Voice web app interface mentioned earlier. I use the web app all the time for text messaging from my computer browser. But it’s different, so you need to realize that.</li> <li> Text messages sent by applications and to/from short message codes (like Skype, your bank, etc.) don’t work.</li> </ul> <p> That said, Google Voice is a terrific service that lets you have one phone number that can ring and deliver messages across several other phones. I use two Google Voice numbers – one I give out as my home phone and the other is for work calls. If I am working from my home office, both numbers cause my home phone to ring, but no one actually knows the number of my home phone – they just know the GV number that I gave them. If I move or far whatever reason change hone phone or work or cell phone numbers, I don’t have to worry about telling anyone. I just change the associated numbers in my Google Voice account. If I am on vacation somewhere across the country for a few days and want calls made to my home GV number - but only from my family members - to ring a phone number at my friend’s house, but only after 8am and before 11pm, <em>and</em> not during the next two hours because I want to get a nap… Google Voice can do that for me, too. It’s really quite powerful and easy to set up. </p> <p> You can set schedules for different phones, and having a complete history of every call, voice mail and text message available in the browser app is really very nice. If any of the phone numbers associated with the different phones you have connected to your GV account and number should change in the future, there’s no need to tell the world. The people you know can just keep dialing your GV number, and in the background you can change that number that AT&amp;T gave you back in the day when you got your first iPhone and point it at your new Verizon number. Hey, I’m just sayin’... </p> <p> More information about porting numbers and Google Voice in general can be found at: </p> <ul> <li> <a href="http://googlevoiceblog.blogspot.com/2011/01/port-your-existing-mobile-number-to.html" target="_blank">Portability Announcement on the Google Voice blog</a> </li> <li> <a href="http://www.google.com/support/voice/bin/answer.py?hl=en&amp;answer=1065667" target="_blank">Google Help Center – Number Porting FAQ</a> </li> <li> <a href="http://www.google.com/support/voice/bin/static.py?page=guide.cs&amp;guide=22635" target="_blank">Google Voice Getting Started Guide</a> </li> </ul> <br /> <hr /> <font size="1">greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2009 - licensed under a <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">Creative Commons License</a>.</font> http://www.greghughes.net/rant/CommentView,guid,e1c0060e-1bda-463d-a7ba-eebb09604162.aspx Android Apple Mobile Tech
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Earlier today, I was working in my home office and using my iPad alongside my computer. I started a download to update some app data on the iPad, which was fully charged at the time, and went back to my computer to do work-related stuff.

A couple hours later I went back to the iPad and pressed the home button to try to wake it up, with no response. I tried the wake/sleep/power button, same lack of response. Thinking it might be a dead battery (but wondering how that could happen in such a short period of time) I plugged it into the charger and left it there. Normally that would result in some screen activity if the battery had died, but after a couple hours on the charger the iPad was still dead.

After several minutes of futzing around with the iPad on and off the charger, and pushing every button on the iPad, I remembered a button combination that's used to execute a power reset and boot the iPad into recovery mode.

So, I did that combo, holding the Power/Sleep and Home buttons down at the same time for around 15 seconds while the iPad was on the charger. Sure enough, the iPad restarted and fired right up normally. It had a partial charge (about what you'd expect for the amount of time it had been running on battery before it died) and WiFi was disconnected, but after reconnecting to my WiFi network things were all back to normal.

Hopefully this saves someone a trip to the Apple Store or a call to the fine folks at Apple Support.



greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2009 - licensed under a Creative Commons License. Dead iPad won't charge or start - Solution http://www.greghughes.net/rant/PermaLink,guid,98a0a406-807a-4697-9584-225fe5aa3119.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/DeadIPadWontChargeOrStartSolution.aspx Thu, 13 Jan 2011 03:53:39 GMT <p> Earlier today, I was working in my home office and using my iPad alongside my computer. I started a download to update some app data on the iPad, which was fully charged at the time, and went back to my computer to do work-related stuff. </p> <p> A couple hours later I went back to the iPad and pressed the home button to try to wake it up, with no response. I tried the wake/sleep/power button, same lack of response. Thinking it might be a dead battery (but wondering how that could happen in such a short period of time) I plugged it into the charger and left it there. Normally that would result in some screen activity if the battery had died, but after a couple hours on the charger the iPad was still dead. </p> <p> After several minutes of futzing around with the iPad on and off the charger, and pushing every button on the iPad, I remembered a button combination that's used to execute a power reset and boot the iPad into recovery mode. </p> <p> So, I did that combo, holding the Power/Sleep and Home buttons down at the same time for around 15 seconds while the iPad was on the charger. Sure enough, the iPad restarted and fired right up normally. It had a partial charge (about what you'd expect for the amount of time it had been running on battery before it died) and WiFi was disconnected, but after reconnecting to my WiFi network things were all back to normal. </p> <p> Hopefully this saves someone a trip to the Apple Store or a call to the fine folks at Apple Support. </p> <br /> <hr /> <font size="1">greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2009 - licensed under a <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">Creative Commons License</a>.</font> http://www.greghughes.net/rant/CommentView,guid,98a0a406-807a-4697-9584-225fe5aa3119.aspx Apple Mobile Tech
http://www.greghughes.net/rant/Trackback.aspx?guid=4694cfc1-adef-404c-a285-5b2e34567832 http://www.greghughes.net/rant/pingback.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/PermaLink,guid,4694cfc1-adef-404c-a285-5b2e34567832.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/CommentView,guid,4694cfc1-adef-404c-a285-5b2e34567832.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/SyndicationService.asmx/GetEntryCommentsRss?guid=4694cfc1-adef-404c-a285-5b2e34567832 There&rsquo;s no Airprint from iOS 4.2 in OS X 10.6.5 &ndash; But there&rsquo;s an app (to fix) that&hellip; http://www.greghughes.net/rant/PermaLink,guid,4694cfc1-adef-404c-a285-5b2e34567832.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/TherersquosNoAirprintFromIOS42InOSX1065NdashButTherersquosAnAppToFixThathellip.aspx Mon, 22 Nov 2010 21:52:32 GMT <p> <b>UPDATE:</b> Check out my new post that describes <a href="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/EnableAirPrintPrinterSharingOnWindowsHomeServerForIOS42Devices.aspx">how to enable the AirPrint support for Windows shared printers, including on Windows Home Server</a>. </p> <p> <a href="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/content/binary/WindowsLiveWriter/TheresnoAirprin.5Buttheresanapptofixthat_C311/photo.png"><img style="border-bottom: 0px; border-left: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 15px 20px; display: inline; border-top: 0px; border-right: 0px" title="photo" border="0" alt="photo" align="right" src="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/content/binary/WindowsLiveWriter/TheresnoAirprin.5Buttheresanapptofixthat_C311/photo_thumb.png" width="239" height="242"></a> I was pretty excited, based on reports in the community in the past about being able to print from my <a href="http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2010/11/22ios.html" target="_blank">iPad in the new iOS 4.2.1</a> operating system via my Mac computer. My WiFi laser printer in my home office is a good printer, but it certainly is not Airprint enabled. So leveraging my MacBook (which is pretty much always up and running) was to be a good option for me. </p> <p> But, alas, iOS 4.2.1 is here, and OS X 10.6.5 is installed and running on my MacBook (after some troublesome issues that finally got resolved)… But it looks like Apple removed the Airprint capability from the 10.6.5 release of OS X. It was in the beta versions, but not in the version they finally released. </p> <p> <a href="http://lifehacker.com/5687186/how-to-enable-ios-airprint-support-in-os-x-right-now" target="_blank">Lifehacker has a brief article describing how to manually enable Airprint support in 10.6.5</a>, so you can share your non-Airprint printers with your iOS 4.2 devices via your Mac. </p> <p> In a nutshell, you just do this: </p> <ul> <li> Download a few files (which are pulled from the OS X beta)</li> <li> Copy them to a couple of specific locations (described in the linked site, above)</li> <li> Remove your printer from the system</li> <li> Restart your Mac </li> <li> and re-add your printer, and share it</li> </ul> <p> <a href="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/content/binary/WindowsLiveWriter/TheresnoAirprin.5Buttheresanapptofixthat_C311/IMAG0233a_2.jpg"><img style="border-bottom: 0px; border-left: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 15px 20px; display: inline; border-top: 0px; border-right: 0px" title="IMAG0233a" border="0" alt="IMAG0233a" align="right" src="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/content/binary/WindowsLiveWriter/TheresnoAirprin.5Buttheresanapptofixthat_C311/IMAG0233a_thumb.jpg" width="159" height="242"></a>Of course, this is not a supported configuration and undoubtedly there is some very real reason why it was not included in 10.6.5, so your mileage may vary should you decide to try it. </p> <p> For those who may not want to break open the Terminal app in OS X, someone also built a <a href="http://netputing.com/2010/11/11/airprint-hacktivator/" target="_blank">quick Mac App called Airprint Hacktivator</a> that you can run, which will allow you to automagically install the proper files and configure the OS. </p> <p> Again, your mileage may vary. But I can tell you, it worked for me! I used the Hacktivator app and didn’t even have to restart my computer. I ran it, removed the old shared printer and re-added it, and instantly my iPad “saw” it and was able to print. </p> <p> So, I’m now printing from my iPad, via my MacBook Air on the WLAN, to my office laser printer. Pretty slick, and a nice feature to have. No more emailing links and copy/paste content to one of my other computers in order to print things I find or need from the iPad. </p> <p> UPDATE: There's apparently also <a href="http://jaxov.com/2010/11/how-to-enable-airprint-service-on-windows/">an option out there to enable the Airprint support on Windows</a>. I may have to take a look at that one and see if it will work on my Windows Home Server, which is quite literally *always* on, as opposed to my Macbook, which *almost* always on... </p> <p> If you’re interested in what else is available in iOS 4.2 for the iPad, I suggest you <a href="http://lifehacker.com/5687615/all-the-great-new-stuff-in-ios-42?skyline=true&s=i" target="_blank">check out the Lifehacker review and video</a>. </p> <br /> <hr /> <font size="1">greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2009 - licensed under a <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">Creative Commons License</a>.</font> http://www.greghughes.net/rant/CommentView,guid,4694cfc1-adef-404c-a285-5b2e34567832.aspx Apple Geek Out Mobile Tech http://www.greghughes.net/rant/Trackback.aspx?guid=e18d40fd-006b-46e6-9416-5fc62dc75d19 http://www.greghughes.net/rant/pingback.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/PermaLink,guid,e18d40fd-006b-46e6-9416-5fc62dc75d19.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/CommentView,guid,e18d40fd-006b-46e6-9416-5fc62dc75d19.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/SyndicationService.asmx/GetEntryCommentsRss?guid=e18d40fd-006b-46e6-9416-5fc62dc75d19 2

I've recently run across a number of great resources while researching my Sprint EVO 4G phone, which runs the Android operating system and is quite tweakable.

One of the top resources I've found is called Good and EVO , a blog that answers in patient detail lots and lots of great questions. Anyone who has the device and doesn't know where to start but wants to learn about the phone and how to make it really work should read through all the articles on the site. It's very well-written and contains a wealth of information and links. Check it out at http://www.goodandevo.net/.

Another excellent - and more technical - resource is the xda-developers Android Development forum for the EVO 4G phone . Uber-geeks will rejoice in all the slang and tech jargon being slung around the walls of these rooms. Of particular interest for people getting started hacking on the EVO is "rooting" the device and installing customer ROMs (images of the operating system packages). Check out the EVO Helpful/Popular Threads topic for links to the basics, and check out the broader forum for lots and lots more. The forum can be found at http://forum.xda-developers.com/forumdisplay.php?f=653.

Other good resources to list?



greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2009 - licensed under a Creative Commons License. A couple great info resources for Sprint HTC EVO 4G owners http://www.greghughes.net/rant/PermaLink,guid,e18d40fd-006b-46e6-9416-5fc62dc75d19.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/ACoupleGreatInfoResourcesForSprintHTCEVO4GOwners.aspx Tue, 22 Jun 2010 04:51:46 GMT <p> I've recently run across a number of great resources while researching my Sprint EVO 4G phone, which runs the Android operating system and is quite tweakable. </p> <p> <strong>One of the top resources I've found is called </strong><a href="http://www.goodandevo.net/" target="_blank"><strong>Good and EVO</strong></a><strong>,</strong> a blog that answers in patient detail lots and lots of great questions. Anyone who has the device and doesn't know where to start but wants to learn about the phone and how to make it really work should read through all the articles on the site. It's very well-written and contains a wealth of information and links. Check it out at <a href="http://www.goodandevo.net/">http://www.goodandevo.net/</a>. </p> <p> <strong>Another excellent - and more technical - resource is the </strong><a href="http://forum.xda-developers.com/forumdisplay.php?f=653" target="_blank"><strong>xda-developers Android Development forum for the EVO 4G phone</strong></a><strong>. </strong>Uber-geeks will rejoice in all the slang and tech jargon being slung around the walls of these rooms. Of particular interest for people getting started hacking on the EVO is "rooting" the device and installing customer ROMs (images of the operating system packages). Check out the <a href="http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=701245" target="_blank">EVO Helpful/Popular Threads</a> topic for links to the basics, and check out the broader forum for lots and lots more. The forum can be found at <a href="http://forum.xda-developers.com/forumdisplay.php?f=653">http://forum.xda-developers.com/forumdisplay.php?f=653</a>. </p> <p> Other good resources to list? </p> <br /> <hr /> <font size="1">greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2009 - licensed under a <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">Creative Commons License</a>.</font> http://www.greghughes.net/rant/CommentView,guid,e18d40fd-006b-46e6-9416-5fc62dc75d19.aspx Android Mobile Tech
http://www.greghughes.net/rant/Trackback.aspx?guid=87be2d6b-5998-43b1-8fe6-1857f4d79dae http://www.greghughes.net/rant/pingback.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/PermaLink,guid,87be2d6b-5998-43b1-8fe6-1857f4d79dae.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/CommentView,guid,87be2d6b-5998-43b1-8fe6-1857f4d79dae.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/SyndicationService.asmx/GetEntryCommentsRss?guid=87be2d6b-5998-43b1-8fe6-1857f4d79dae 3 My view on the EVO 4G and Sprint after the first few days http://www.greghughes.net/rant/PermaLink,guid,87be2d6b-5998-43b1-8fe6-1857f4d79dae.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/MyViewOnTheEVO4GAndSprintAfterTheFirstFewDays.aspx Sun, 20 Jun 2010 02:26:25 GMT <p> The other day I decided I'd had enough pain in my relationship with AT&T and that <a href="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/DearATampTYoursquoreFired.aspx" target="_blank">I was going to make a move</a>. I looked at my various options, and <a href="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/DearSprintAndHTCAndAndroidYoursquoreHired.aspx" target="_blank">landed on Sprint and the EVO 4G</a> Android-based smart phone. I've spent a few days with the new service and device, and I thought I would write up some early thoughts and opinions. </p> <p> First of all, let's get this part out of the way:<em> I already miss using the iPhone. </em>Now, the Android phone is cool and there are a lot of good things to say about it. But the iPhone is what I'm used to, and from size to form to OS usability to - well - fit and finish, so to speak... The iPhone is great, and hard to leave. </p> <p> <strong>Sprint's mobile service</strong> </p> <p> As expected, Sprint's service is a little patchier in certain spots around the Portland area than AT&T, while in other areas Sprint provide substantially better coverage. Neither carrier truly blankets the entire area effectively. At my house, located in a fairly remote and rural area about an hour northwest of the city, service by both carriers is equally spotty. </p> <p> But one thing about the Sprint service that stands out over AT&T's is the call delivery stability. Calls go through, the phone rings when someone is calling, and I have yet to experience a dropped call even once. Even in areas with one or two bars of signal strength showing on the phone I can reliably place and receive calls. Try that with an iPhone on AT&T (even in strong signal strength areas) and one is bound for overall abject failure disappointment. </p> <p> <strong>The EVO 4G phone</strong> </p> <p> The phone is pretty darned slick, and Android is a very cool operating system. It's a tough adjustment from the iPhone to this device in some ways. But overall, color me quite impressed. The display is nice, and even though it's a little larger than I might like it is good hardware with a quality fit and finish. </p> <p> Battery life is somewhat frustrating, and Sprint even hands out a half sheet of paper when you buy the phone printed with recommendations on how to configure your phone to prevent battery drain. The usual suspects apply (turn off GPS and 4G when not in use, turn down screen brightness, etc.) but I think we all recognize that they wouldn't be handing out the sheet if battery consumption wasn't an issue for customers. That said, my experience so far is that battery life is fairly reasonable if you follow the recommendations. I just wish it wasn't necessary, and I'm hopeful someone builds something like a 3000 mAh battery that will fit in the same slot as the provided 1500 mAh battery. There's a little extra room inside that back compartment, so if it's practical to build a bigger battery to fit, hopefully someone will come through. I know I'd buy it. </p> <p> There are some good apps out there, but not the same quality as I can find for the iPhone in the areas I care about the most. And I am having problems with some apps crashing and force-quitting that are more than just a little frustrating. </p> <p> The ability to customize and run widgets, etc. on the phone's "desktop" screens is super cool, and the Google Voice app builds itself into the OS in such an elegant, Borg-like manner that it just makes sense for GV people. There are a couple glitches in the app, but hopefully those get improved upon over time. </p> <p> <strong>In a nutshell...</strong> </p> <p> I miss the iPhone a bit. The EVO is a great phone, don't get me wrong. </p> <p> I don't miss AT&T at all, at least not yet. My calls on Sprint go through the first time and they don't drop. Data connectivity is reliable and performs well. I can't say that about AT&T. </p> <p> <strong>Thinking out loud about the service issues on AT&T's network...</strong> </p> <p> I'm no cell phone service expert. Far from it. But one thing I've wondered over the past few days is whether the issues on the AT&T network are solely carrier problems, or if some small part of the blame might be Apple's. Is it possible the methods of connecting to and communicating on the network being implemented by Apple aren't optimal? I wonder because for the past year I've carried my iPhone with me for personal use, while at the same time carrying a Blackberry - also on AT&T's network - for business purposes. Frequently the Blackberry performs better in any given location than the iPhone. But not always. There are times when both devices just fall off the back of the truck as far as network connectivity and reliability (for both voice and data) is concerned, Yet I can say based on that year's worth of experience that when I've needed to make a call and ensure the best chance of staying connected and not getting dropped, I've used the Blackberry with noticeably greater reliability. </p> <p> The amateur radio geek in me in me can think of a few possible reasons for the difference between the performance differences between my iPhone and the Blackberry in the same locations at the same time: </p> <p> <ul> <li> They connect and communicate differently - Obviously the engineers at the different phone manufacturers don't get together in the same room and write radio code, so I suppose it's possible RIM's people are better at this than Apple's folks.<br /> </li> <li> They're using different cell towers/radios/bands/frequencies - Since these are multi-band transceivers, one has to remember that they may not be operating on the exact same infrastructure equipment at any given point in time. In that case, performance would likely be different.<br /> </li> <li> The Blackberry seems to hand-off to EDGE sooner than the iPhone, and it stays connected to the network at least a little more reliably.<br /> </li> </ul> At any rate, it's hard for me to know what I will think of the EVO and Sprint in another week. I have this 30-day period to decide if it's right for me, and if it doesn't work out I can decide to try something else, or even go back to AT&T if it turns out I was wrong in my decision. But that doesn't sound like something I want to do at this point.> <br /> <hr /> <font size="1">greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2009 - licensed under a <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">Creative Commons License</a>.</font> http://www.greghughes.net/rant/CommentView,guid,87be2d6b-5998-43b1-8fe6-1857f4d79dae.aspx Android Apple Mobile Tech http://www.greghughes.net/rant/Trackback.aspx?guid=93281a59-0bbd-4404-9b68-e6719e8c78a2 http://www.greghughes.net/rant/pingback.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/PermaLink,guid,93281a59-0bbd-4404-9b68-e6719e8c78a2.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/CommentView,guid,93281a59-0bbd-4404-9b68-e6719e8c78a2.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/SyndicationService.asmx/GetEntryCommentsRss?guid=93281a59-0bbd-4404-9b68-e6719e8c78a2 6

As I explained in my last post, I made the decision over the past few days to move away from AT&T for mobile phone service, which necessitated a change in the smart phone hardware I use since the iPhone is exclusive (for now, anyhow) to AT&T in the United States. I did some research, got some advice from people I know, read a lot of reviews, and  heard out several others who contacted me with their thoughts -- and then today I took action.

Sprint HTC EVO 4G After work, I left the office and started for home. It was a little after 5pm, and I thought to myself, I wonder if there’s a Sprint store nearby? I’d been looking at the HTC EVO 4G, a truly impressive Android-based smart phone that operates on the Sprint/Clear 4G network for data, as well as Sprint’s 3G mobile network.

Turns out there’s a store just a few blocks away, so I turned around and drove there. I had realistic expectations as I headed over: The HTC EVO 4G is sold out on the Sprint and HTC web sites, and is in very short supply/unavailable pretty much everywhere, so my hope was that the store would at least have a working demo unit that I could take a look at and test drive.

Turns out they had two working units on the shelf, and the *very* friendly and *very* helpful young lady at the store quickly and expertly walked me though the phone for a minute or so. I was pretty impressed with the fact that she immediately picked up on my experience and expertise level and tailored her very knowledgeable interaction to me. So if someone at Sprint reads this, please take this as a commendation for Meghan O. at your Tanasbourne Town Center store in Beaverton, Oregon. She deserves a customer service award, truly. No pressure, all information, and true passion about the phone and Sprint’s service. Compare that to my experiences in AT&T stores and there’s really no contest. In fact, the Sprint customer service experience reminds me a lot of the service experience in an Apple store, come to think of it. Hmmmm… Maybe Apple should think about that.

But I digress. It turns out they had three brand new, in-the-box EVO4G phones that people had reserved but not picked up, so they were available for the taking. Oh, I started to drool. Well, not really – but I think you know what I mean.

I’ll save all the gory details of why this is such a cool phone for another post, since I need to get some sleep tonight. But I want to explain here why I’ve decided to engage Sprint as my probable (operative word there, see below) new service provider.

  • First of all, I can get more for my money. For the same price I am paying AT&T each month for iPhone service and a data plan, I can get the same number of minutes, same unlimited messaging, free calls to any mobile phone on any carrier in the US, free nights and weekends, and – BONUS – the Sprint hot-spot coverage, where the EVO 4G acts as a wifi hot-spot for up to 8 devices to access the Internet.
  • I haven’t decided this yet, but I am considering dropping the 3G data service plan from AT&T on my iPad and just using the EVO 4G to provide Internet service via the hot-spot capability (and at faster speeds, I should add). The $30 a month savings pays for the hot-spot feature. I could always sign up as needed for AT&T 3G service on an ad-hoc basis at $15 a month if I need their service for some reason.
  • Sprint has a 30-day return policy, which allows you to evaluate Sprint and the hardware you choose, and return the equipment in non-damaged condition within that window for a full refund - including no charge for the service used. In effect they’re saying, “Come try us, and if you don’t like it, we will take the equipment back and make you whole again.” That’s corporate confidence, and should I find out I’m an idiot and made a bad decision (or if I decide I want to take a look at a third carrier) I have the option to get out, no questions asked. I like the try-us-on option. Good move.
  • Sprint’s early termination fees are substantially lower than the competition’s newly-published penalties: At Sprint, it’s $200 max, and after you’re about 8 months into your 24-month contract, the penalty starts to drop by $10 a month until it bottoms out at $50 -- and that’s a pretty reasonable deal.
  • No limits on data usage for the smart phone. AT&T and others are now capping their “unlimited” plans (and thank goodness, they’re re-labeling them in most cases to be more accurate in their descriptions).
  • In the store, Meghan’s customer service skills and knowledge simply won me over. She was confident in what she was saying, quick but not rushed, covered all the bases accurately and efficiently, and answered literally every question I had with answers I wanted to hear.

I’ll add a few things about the EVO 4G phone, because they just have to be said. Keep in mind, I am a bit of an iPhone and Apple fan-boy, and I made the tough decision to leave AT&T and the iPhone not because of Apple’s hardware and software, but instead because of AT&T’s poor service and quality woes.

  • This is a sharp phone. The screen is big (really big) and vibrant and it’s a solid build. It feels good in your hand.
  • The camera is great, and even gives you access to detailed configuration settings like auto or manual white balance, various recording resolutions, etc.
  • And that’s just the main camera. There’s also a second, front-facing camera working at VGA resolution for video chatting/conferencing or whatever you want to use it for (maybe you want to shoot your own passport pictures – it’s all up to you).
  • One thing the Apple iPhone doesn’t have a native app for (which is a real shame), but Android does: The Google Voice app. I downloaded and installed the GV app in about a minute and configured it to use my Google Voice account, and now the Android phone uses my GV account – natively – to place and receive calls and text messages. It’s totally borged, all wired in tightly without the need to launch a separate app for calls or anything. You go to the regular phone and messaging apps on the phone, and they knows they’re tied directly to Google Voice. That’s huge, and it’s unique to the Android platform. If you’re a Google Voice power user, Android is *definitely* for you. Find me and ask for a demo, I’ll show you what I mean.
  • The Android UI is awesome. It’s responsive, intuitive and even fun to use. I’m impressed.
  • 4G data service. I happen to live in Portland, Oregon, which is one of the early cities that got WiMax/4G from the start. The network is pretty well established here and so this means a lot in my book. Fast Internet service for a flat fee and ability to share it with other devices is hot.

There’s a lot more to love about the EVO 4G phone, but I’ll save the rest for another post. Suffice it to say, I am pleasantly surprised and quite impressed with both Sprint and the new HTC phone.

More to come later. If you have an opinion, comment away and let me know!



greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2009 - licensed under a Creative Commons License. Dear Sprint and HTC (and Android): You&rsquo;re Hired. http://www.greghughes.net/rant/PermaLink,guid,93281a59-0bbd-4404-9b68-e6719e8c78a2.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/DearSprintAndHTCAndAndroidYoursquoreHired.aspx Thu, 17 Jun 2010 07:11:23 GMT <p> As I <a href="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/DearATampTYoursquoreFired.aspx" target="_blank">explained in my last post</a>, I made the decision over the past few days to move away from AT&amp;T for mobile phone service, which necessitated a change in the smart phone hardware I use since the iPhone is exclusive (for now, anyhow) to AT&amp;T in the United States. I did some research, got some advice from people I know, read a lot of reviews, and&nbsp; heard out several others who contacted me with their thoughts -- and then today I took action. </p> <p> <a href="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/content/binary/WindowsLiveWriter/DearSprintandHTCandAndroidYoureHired_1076B/EVO4G-1.jpg"><img style="border-bottom: 0px; border-left: 0px; margin: 10px 0px 15px 15px; display: inline; border-top: 0px; border-right: 0px" title="Sprint HTC EVO 4G" border="0" alt="Sprint HTC EVO 4G" align="right" src="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/content/binary/WindowsLiveWriter/DearSprintandHTCandAndroidYoureHired_1076B/EVO4G-1_thumb.jpg" width="418" height="251"></a> After work, I left the office and started for home. It was a little after 5pm, and I thought to myself, I wonder if there’s a Sprint store nearby? I’d been looking at the <a href="http://now.sprint.com/firsts/evo4g/" target="_blank">HTC EVO 4G</a>, a truly impressive Android-based smart phone that operates on the Sprint/Clear 4G network for data, as well as Sprint’s 3G mobile network. </p> <p> Turns out there’s a store just a few blocks away, so I turned around and drove there. I had realistic expectations as I headed over: The HTC EVO 4G is sold out on the Sprint and HTC web sites, and is in very short supply/unavailable pretty much everywhere, so my hope was that the store would at least have a working demo unit that I could take a look at and test drive. </p> <p> Turns out they had two working units on the shelf, and the *very* friendly and *very* helpful young lady at the store quickly and expertly walked me though the phone for a minute or so. I was pretty impressed with the fact that she immediately picked up on my experience and expertise level and tailored her very knowledgeable interaction to me. So if someone at Sprint reads this, please take this as a commendation for Meghan O. at your Tanasbourne Town Center store in Beaverton, Oregon. She deserves a customer service award, truly. No pressure, all information, and true passion about the phone and Sprint’s service. Compare that to my experiences in AT&amp;T stores and there’s really no contest. In fact, the Sprint customer service experience reminds me a lot of the service experience in an Apple store, come to think of it. Hmmmm… Maybe Apple should think about that. </p> <p> But I digress. It turns out they had three brand new, in-the-box EVO4G phones that people had reserved but not picked up, so they were available for the taking. Oh, I started to drool. Well, not really – but I think you know what I mean. </p> <p> I’ll save all the gory details of why this is such a cool phone for another post, since I need to get some sleep tonight. But I want to explain here why I’ve decided to engage Sprint as my probable (operative word there, see below) new service provider. </p> <ul> <li> First of all, I can get more for my money. For the same price I am paying AT&amp;T each month for iPhone service and a data plan, I can get the same number of minutes, same unlimited messaging, free calls to any mobile phone on any carrier in the US, free nights and weekends, and – BONUS – the Sprint hot-spot coverage, where the EVO 4G acts as a wifi hot-spot for up to 8 devices to access the Internet.</li> <li> I haven’t decided this yet, but I am considering dropping the 3G data service plan from AT&amp;T on my iPad and just using the EVO 4G to provide Internet service via the hot-spot capability (and at faster speeds, I should add). The $30 a month savings pays for the hot-spot feature. I could always sign up as needed for AT&amp;T 3G service on an ad-hoc basis at $15 a month if I need their service for some reason.</li> <li> Sprint has a 30-day return policy, which allows you to evaluate Sprint and the hardware you choose, and return the equipment in non-damaged condition within that window for a full refund - including no charge for the service used. In effect they’re saying, “Come try us, and if you don’t like it, we will take the equipment back and make you whole again.” That’s corporate confidence, and should I find out I’m an idiot and made a bad decision (or if I decide I want to take a look at a third carrier) I have the option to get out, no questions asked. I like the try-us-on option. Good move.</li> <li> Sprint’s early termination fees are substantially lower than the competition’s newly-published penalties: At Sprint, it’s $200 max, and after you’re about 8 months into your 24-month contract, the penalty starts to drop by $10 a month until it bottoms out at $50 -- and that’s a pretty reasonable deal.</li> <li> No limits on data usage for the smart phone. AT&amp;T and others are now capping their “unlimited” plans (and thank goodness, they’re re-labeling them in most cases to be more accurate in their descriptions).</li> <li> In the store, Meghan’s customer service skills and knowledge simply won me over. She was confident in what she was saying, quick but not rushed, covered all the bases accurately and efficiently, and answered literally every question I had with answers I wanted to hear.</li> </ul> <p> I’ll add a few things about the EVO 4G phone, because they just have to be said. Keep in mind, I am a bit of an iPhone and Apple fan-boy, and I <a href="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/DearATampTYoursquoreFired.aspx" target="_blank">made the tough decision to leave AT&amp;T</a> and the iPhone not because of Apple’s hardware and software, but instead because of AT&amp;T’s poor service and quality woes. </p> <ul> <li> This is a sharp phone. The screen is big (really big) and vibrant and it’s a solid build. It feels good in your hand.</li> <li> The camera is great, and even gives you access to detailed configuration settings like auto or manual white balance, various recording resolutions, etc.</li> <li> And that’s just the main camera. There’s also a second, front-facing camera working at VGA resolution for video chatting/conferencing or whatever you want to use it for (maybe you want to shoot your own passport pictures – it’s all up to you).</li> <li> One thing the Apple iPhone <em>doesn’t</em> have a native app for (which is a <em><a href="http://news.cnet.com/8301-13579_3-10297618-37.html" target="_blank">real shame</a></em>), but Android does: The Google Voice app. I downloaded and installed the GV app in about a minute and configured it to use my Google Voice account, and now the Android phone uses my GV account – <em>natively</em> – to place and receive calls and text messages. It’s totally borged, all wired in tightly without the need to launch a separate app for calls or anything. You go to the regular phone and messaging apps on the phone, and they knows they’re tied directly to Google Voice. That’s huge, and it’s unique to the Android platform. If you’re a Google Voice power user, Android is *definitely* for you. Find me and ask for a demo, I’ll show you what I mean.</li> <li> The Android UI is awesome. It’s responsive, intuitive and even fun to use. I’m impressed.</li> <li> 4G data service. I happen to live in Portland, Oregon, which is one of the early cities that got WiMax/4G from the start. The network is pretty well established here and so this means a lot in my book. Fast Internet service for a flat fee and ability to share it with other devices is hot.</li> </ul> <p> There’s a lot more to love about the EVO 4G phone, but I’ll save the rest for another post. Suffice it to say, I am pleasantly surprised and quite impressed with both Sprint and the new HTC phone. </p> <p> More to come later. If you have an opinion, comment away and let me know! </p> <br /> <hr /> <font size="1">greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2009 - licensed under a <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">Creative Commons License</a>.</font> http://www.greghughes.net/rant/CommentView,guid,93281a59-0bbd-4404-9b68-e6719e8c78a2.aspx Android Apple Mobile Tech
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And to Apple: I’m sorry, but as good as you make me feel about the world of technology, I just don’t love you enough  to endure AT&T’s bad habits anymore. So, the iPhone has to go, too. And that makes IMAG0002me sad. I truly wish things were different. I almost can’t believe I’m doing this. They say if you love something, let it go free. It’s a brutal suggestion, really.

Let me start out by saying, for those who don’t know, that I’m a security and IT management professional by trade. I’ve held executive and senior management roles for both security and IT functions at a publicly-held company in the financial services space, I’ve consulted with governments and companies large and small on cyber-security issues, and these days I manage security strategy for a Fortune-500 company. So, I have some perspective and reality-based opinions about security and quality.

Let me also say - plainly and clearly - that this blog is where I voice my own opinion about things that are on my mind (as opposed to discussing work-related topics). And my mind is pretty active right now as it concentrates on my personal AT&T Wireless account and the lack of service and security quality the company has delivered over time. In other words, I have some strong opinions on the topic.

This is certainly a bit of a rant, but it’s not a knee-jerk reaction. It’s grounded in reality and reason and I have put some time and thought into my decision.

And enough is enough: I’m done with AT&T.

First AT&T’s reliability and call-handling problems were the issue, and frankly those were bad enough on their own. There are locations where I can *guarantee* calls will drop on my iPhone on the 3G network, every single time. Areas with three to five (out of five) bars of signal strength that suddenly drops the call and goes to zero, before churning around trying to reconnect and eventually coming back with a full signal once (I assume) a tower hand-off finishes. I actually have to tell people that the call will drop in a few seconds and that I will call them back in a couple minutes when the service recovers. They always want to know how I can know that. It’s sad. Coverage has gotten *worse* over the past several months in many areas where I travel, and call reliability has suffered. It’s probably worth noting that the same bad service areas affect my iPad’s 3G data access, as well. So, it’s not just my iPhone.

As if that wasn’t enough, there’s the costs associated with the AT&T service. We pay a premium for iPhone voice and data plans, and get crap for service in return. If I had a buck for every time someone tried to call me and got voice mail, while my phone was sitting in front of me with four or five bars yet never rang once, I’d be able to pay that early termination penalty AT&T requires of it’s customers. It’s bad enough that AT&T sells us this poor service, but it’s even worse that Apple isn’t more publicly vocal and more forceful about getting the problems solved. It’s been three freakin’ years already, for gosh sakes! There is absolutely no excuse.

Then a week ago comes news that AT&T’s iPad registration service was exposing email addresses and validating iPad hardware identifiers, as uncovered by a hacker group with ShootFootan unfortunate name (don’t Google it if you are not already familiar with why it’s unfortunate, just trust me on that one). I, too got the victim-list email from AT&T describing what had happened, six or seven days after the fact. It’s not the actual leak that stinks in this case, it’s the fact that such a design would make it into a Internet service in the first place.

Since then, there’s been a bit of a meta-debate about who’s responsible for what, and all of it is really just details. The fact that the information leak *could* happen in the first place is yet another indicator of why AT&T is a sloppy, careless company when it comes to the services I consume and my personal information. Shame on them. But there’s more…

Then this week comes the straw that broke my proverbial camel’s back, as AT&T’s servers fail massively under load during the iPhone 4 pre-order, and we discover that apparently the company's critical software changes didn’t get tested, and changes got made at the last minute. Oh, and as a result our personal data is being exposed – once again - due to a supposed flaw in the AT&T systems and how they access database records.

Holy cow.

Regardless of the variety of outstanding questions about the exact details and severity of the security situations, the very existence of these problems is more than just problematic.

One has to wonder, if one is being pragmatic and watching the past couple weeks’ activity: What else might they be skimping on that we don’t already know about? If I followed the same practices and didn’t test or validate security and functionality in my line of work, there’s no doubt I’d be gone in a second. Again, simply unacceptable for a huge company and it’s customers, who demand and require trust.

None of this is indicative of a company that practices good, basic security principles as a matter of course. It’s not indicative of a company that strives first for quality. And it’s not the type of company I feel like I can trust anymore.

So, I am quitting you, AT&T. I’d say it’s been nice knowing you, but that would be mostly a lie. So I’ll just walk away and let the past be the past, and focus on the future. Nine-plus years is enough. Good luck to you. I hope you will change, but it’s going to take some serious work, and I just don’t know if you can actually do it. Your track record is not good. Change is hard. Change means pain. And  in the end, most people aren’t willing to endure that process. But maybe you will, and if you do please let me know. I’d like nothing more than to be a happy customer and to write something happy and positive here. I’ll keep my iPad service going with you, since I don’t really have much of a choice and its very existence is part of what makes it possible for me to let the iPhone go. But it’s time for a new phone on a new carrier.

Maybe someday you’ll earn my business back. You might have Apple in your jaws of exclusivity, but not me. For now, you’ve lost my trust and business -- and please realize that you killed an Apple iPhone customer in the process.

And that’s really saying something.

P.S. – A quick final thought to Apple:

I love the hardware. I love the OS. I love the apps. But I can’t stand the service provider, which has failed us for too long now.

I fail to see how you can continue to do exclusive business with a company like AT&T, and I hope you’ll quickly open up options for your customers. Maybe you’re already working on it, which would be a breath of fresh air in this cramped, stuffy, smelly room. I’m sure many will suffer the pains of AT&T to get your hardware and software in your hands, and honestly this is a painful decision for me to make because your phone is something I want and need. But your corporate quality and image is directly tied – even intertwined - to AT&T in the United States, and for a company that stands tall on the ideals of doing things well rather than doing them first, your AT&T relationship is a failure of massive proportions, with quality never measuring up and ability to correct way too lacking. For what it’s worth. I want your products more than any other, but AT&T’s issues have finally crossed a line and have reached the summit of Mt. Unacceptable.

So, what do I do? Please, tell me. Do I wait patiently for a relatively short period of time for another carrier option, or do I just make the move now and use someone else’s hardware?

I am truly sorry to have to leave, Steve. Please, win me back.



greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2009 - licensed under a Creative Commons License. Dear AT&amp;T: You&rsquo;re fired http://www.greghughes.net/rant/PermaLink,guid,2db3adc5-16a4-451d-b426-712331381291.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/DearATampTYoursquoreFired.aspx Thu, 17 Jun 2010 05:49:31 GMT <p> <em>And to Apple: I’m sorry, but as good as you make me feel about the world of technology, I just don’t love you enough&nbsp; to endure AT&amp;T’s <a href="http://gizmodo.com/5564262/">bad habits</a> anymore. So, the iPhone has to go, too. And that makes <a href="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/content/binary/WindowsLiveWriter/DearATTYourefired_148DF/IMAG0002_2.jpg"><img style="border-bottom: 0px; border-left: 0px; margin: 15px 0px 15px 15px; display: inline; border-top: 0px; border-right: 0px" title="IMAG0002" border="0" alt="IMAG0002" align="right" src="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/content/binary/WindowsLiveWriter/DearATTYourefired_148DF/IMAG0002_thumb.jpg" width="192" height="317"></a>me sad. I truly wish things were different. I almost can’t believe I’m doing this. They say if you love something, let it go free. It’s a brutal suggestion, really.</em> </p> <p> Let me start out by saying, for those who don’t know, that I’m a security and IT management professional by trade. I’ve held executive and senior management roles for both security and IT functions at a publicly-held company in the financial services space, I’ve consulted with governments and companies large and small on cyber-security issues, and these days I manage security strategy for a Fortune-500 company. So, I have some perspective and reality-based opinions about security and quality. </p> <p> Let me also say - plainly and clearly - that this blog is where I voice <em>my own opinion</em> about things that are <em>on my mind</em> (as opposed to discussing work-related topics). And my mind is pretty active right now as it concentrates on my personal AT&amp;T Wireless account and the lack of service and security quality the company has delivered over time. In other words, I have some strong opinions on the topic. </p> <p> This is certainly a bit of a rant, but it’s <em>not</em> a knee-jerk reaction. It’s grounded in reality and reason and I have put some time and thought into my decision. </p> <p> And enough is enough: I’m done with AT&amp;T. </p> <p> First AT&amp;T’s reliability and call-handling problems were the issue, and frankly those were bad enough on their own. There are locations where I can *guarantee* calls will drop on my iPhone on the 3G network, every single time. Areas with three to five (out of five) bars of signal strength that suddenly drops the call and goes to zero, before churning around trying to reconnect and eventually coming back with a full signal once (I assume) a tower hand-off finishes. I actually have to tell people that the call will drop in a few seconds and that I will call them back in a couple minutes when the service recovers. They always want to know how I can know that. It’s sad. Coverage has gotten *worse* over the past several months in many areas where I travel, and call reliability has suffered. It’s probably worth noting that the same bad service areas affect my iPad’s 3G data access, as well. So, it’s not just my iPhone. </p> <p> As if that wasn’t enough, there’s the costs associated with the AT&amp;T service. We pay a premium for iPhone voice and data plans, and get crap for service in return. If I had a buck for every time someone tried to call me and got voice mail, while my phone was sitting in front of me with four or five bars yet never rang once, I’d be able to pay that early termination penalty AT&amp;T requires of it’s customers. It’s bad enough that AT&amp;T sells us this poor service, but it’s even worse that Apple isn’t more publicly vocal and more forceful about getting the problems solved. It’s been <em>three freakin’ years</em> already, for gosh sakes! There is absolutely no excuse. </p> <p> Then a week ago comes news that AT&amp;T’s iPad registration service was <a href="http://gawker.com/5559346/apples-worst-security-breach-114000-ipad-owners-exposed" target="_blank">exposing email addresses</a> and validating iPad hardware identifiers, as uncovered by a hacker group with <em><a href="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/content/binary/WindowsLiveWriter/DearATTYourefired_148DF/ShootFoot_2.jpg"><img style="border-right-width: 0px; margin: 15px 0px 15px 15px; display: inline; border-top-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px" title="ShootFoot" border="0" alt="ShootFoot" align="right" src="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/content/binary/WindowsLiveWriter/DearATTYourefired_148DF/ShootFoot_thumb.jpg" width="192" height="244"></a></em>an unfortunate name (don’t Google it if you are not already familiar with why it’s unfortunate, just trust me on that one). I, too got the victim-list email from AT&amp;T describing what had happened, six or seven days after the fact. It’s not the actual leak that stinks in this case, it’s the fact that such a design would make it into a Internet service in the first place. </p> <p> Since then, there’s been a bit of a meta-debate about who’s responsible for what, and all of it is really just details. The fact that the information leak *could* happen in the first place is yet another indicator of why AT&amp;T is a sloppy, careless company when it comes to the services I consume and my personal information. Shame on them. But there’s more… </p> <p> Then <a href="http://gizmodo.com/5564913/" target="_blank">this week comes the straw that broke my proverbial camel’s back</a>, as AT&amp;T’s servers <a href="http://gizmodo.com/5563909/" target="_blank">fail massively</a> under load during the iPhone 4 pre-order, and we discover that apparently the company's critical software changes didn’t get tested, and changes got made at the last minute. Oh, <a href="http://gizmodo.com/5564262/" target="_blank">and as a result our personal data is being exposed</a> – once again - due to a supposed flaw in the AT&amp;T systems and how they access database records. </p> <p> <em>Holy cow.</em> </p> <p> Regardless of the variety of <a href="http://arstechnica.com/security/news/2010/06/atts-ipad-security-breach-could-be-worse-than-initially-thought.ars" target="_blank">outstanding questions about the exact details and severity</a> of the security situations, the very existence of these problems is more than just problematic. </p> <p> One has to wonder, if one is being pragmatic and watching the past couple weeks’ activity: <em>What else might they be skimping on that we don’t already know about? </em>If I followed the same practices and didn’t test or validate security and functionality in my line of work, there’s no doubt I’d be gone in a second. Again, simply unacceptable for a huge company and it’s customers, who demand and require trust. </p> <p> None of this is indicative of a company that practices good, basic security principles as a matter of course. It’s not indicative of a company that strives first for quality. And it’s not the type of company I feel like I can trust anymore. </p> <p> So, I am quitting you, AT&amp;T. I’d say it’s been nice knowing you, but that would be mostly a lie. So I’ll just walk away and let the past be the past, and focus on the future. Nine-plus years is enough. Good luck to you. I hope you will change, but it’s going to take some serious work, and I just don’t know if you can actually do it. Your track record is not good. Change is hard. Change means pain. And&nbsp; in the end, most people aren’t willing to endure that process. But maybe you will, and if you do please let me know. I’d like nothing more than to be a happy customer and to write something happy and positive here. I’ll keep my iPad service going with you, since I don’t really have much of a choice and its very existence is <a href="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/ToIPhoneOrNotToIPhoneThatsTheQuestion.aspx">part of what makes it possible for me to let the iPhone go</a>. But it’s time for a new phone on a new carrier. </p> <p> Maybe someday you’ll earn my business back. You might have Apple in your jaws of exclusivity, but not me. For now, you’ve lost my trust and business -- and please realize that you killed an Apple iPhone customer in the process. </p> <p> And that’s really saying something. </p> <p> <em>P.S. – A quick final thought to Apple: </em> </p> <p> <em>I love the hardware. I love the OS. I love the apps. But I can’t stand the service provider, which has failed us for too long now.</em> </p> <p> <em>I fail to see how you can continue to do <a href="http://money.cnn.com/2010/06/16/technology/att_apple/" target="_blank">exclusive business with a company like AT&amp;T</a>, and I hope you’ll quickly open up options for your customers. Maybe you’re already working on it, which would be a breath of fresh air in this cramped, stuffy, smelly room. I’m sure many will suffer the pains of AT&amp;T to get your hardware and software in your hands, and honestly this is a painful decision for me to make because your phone is something I want and need. But your corporate quality and image is directly tied – even intertwined - to AT&amp;T in the United States, and for a company that stands tall on the ideals of doing things well rather than doing them first, your AT&amp;T relationship is a failure of massive proportions, with quality never measuring up and ability to correct way too lacking. For what it’s worth. I want your products more than any other, but AT&amp;T’s issues have finally crossed a line and have reached the summit of Mt. Unacceptable.</em> </p> <p> <em>So, what do I do? Please, tell me. Do I wait patiently for a relatively short period of time for another carrier option, or do I just make the move now and use someone else’s hardware?</em> </p> <p> <em>I am truly sorry to have to leave, Steve. Please, win me back.</em> </p> <br /> <hr /> <font size="1">greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2009 - licensed under a <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">Creative Commons License</a>.</font> http://www.greghughes.net/rant/CommentView,guid,2db3adc5-16a4-451d-b426-712331381291.aspx Apple IT Security Mobile Tech Things that Suck
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Dubbed Astdroid, a new project by Danny Pier hopes to raise a small amount of funding between now and July 7th to launch a smartphone running the Android operating system (specifically Danny’s Sprint EVO 4G phone) into space. He plans to use a weather balloon launch vehicle and to raise the phone to around 35,000 meters. The phone would take pictures and return to earth via parachute once the balloon pops.

It’s a cool idea, with all sorts of possible problems. But what I find most interesting and exciting is the simple idea of just trying it.

I can relate to Pier’s frustration with the idea that the next time NASA will set foot on another terrestrial body it will be Mars (not the Moon), and it will happen sometime around 2035. I’ll be 68 years old in 2035, and while I certainly plan to last that long, I would love to see something more happen before then.

If NASA isn’t going to do it (which is a mistake of huge proportions in my book), then it’s up to us to stake baby steps and push for private space exploration, in whatever forms it might take.

Pier’s plan is to run software on the Android that will collect location and image data, transmitting back the location data in real time. He wants to recover the phone when it gets back to earth, gather the data and images from the phone, and use it again to do the same thing. He plans to share the software he uses so others can also explore.

The entrepreneurial spirit is powerful. Fun, relatively simple projects like this (well, simple compared to the space shuttle, at least) are a great way to encourage others to fuel the private space race, and I hope Pier’s passion rubs off on others.

And any Android phone is orders of magnitude more powerful computer-wise than anything that flew on an Apollo mission, and even more advanced than a lot of what’s flown on many of the space shuttle missions.

I’ve contributed to his effort, and I hope you will too. An investment in imagination and passion is always worthwhile.

And honestly, this is something I’d love to try someday, myself. :)



greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2009 - licensed under a Creative Commons License. Send an Android phone into space! The Astdroid project takes shape http://www.greghughes.net/rant/PermaLink,guid,bdcfb533-c1b1-49e7-8888-38c283f00a02.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/SendAnAndroidPhoneIntoSpaceTheAstdroidProjectTakesShape.aspx Tue, 15 Jun 2010 16:06:00 GMT <a href="http://kck.st/dujciJ"><img style="margin: 0px 0px 15px 15px" border="0" align="right" src="http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/dannypier/astdroid-lets-send-a-smartphone-into-space/widget/card.jpg"></a> <p> <a href="http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/dannypier/astdroid-lets-send-a-smartphone-into-space" target="_blank">Dubbed Astdroid, a new project by Danny Pier</a> hopes to raise a small amount of funding between now and July 7th to launch a smartphone running the Android operating system (specifically Danny’s Sprint EVO 4G phone) into space. He plans to use a weather balloon launch vehicle and to raise the phone to around 35,000 meters. The phone would take pictures and return to earth via parachute once the balloon pops. </p> <p> It’s a cool idea, with all sorts of possible problems. But what I find most interesting and exciting is the simple idea of just trying it. </p> <p> I can relate to Pier’s frustration with the idea that the next time NASA will set foot on another terrestrial body it will be Mars (not the Moon), and it will happen sometime around 2035. I’ll be 68 years old in 2035, and while I certainly plan to last that long, I would love to see something more happen before then. </p> <p> If NASA isn’t going to do it (which is a mistake of huge proportions in my book), then it’s up to us to stake baby steps and push for private space exploration, in whatever forms it might take. </p> <p> Pier’s plan is to run software on the Android that will collect location and image data, transmitting back the location data in real time. He wants to recover the phone when it gets back to earth, gather the data and images from the phone, and use it again to do the same thing. He plans to share the software he uses so others can also explore. </p> <p> The entrepreneurial spirit is powerful. Fun, relatively simple projects like this (well, simple compared to the space shuttle, at least) are a great way to encourage others to fuel the private space race, and I hope Pier’s passion rubs off on others. </p> <p> And any Android phone is orders of magnitude more powerful computer-wise than anything that flew on an Apollo mission, and even more advanced than a lot of what’s flown on many of the space shuttle missions. </p> <p> I’ve contributed to his effort, and I hope you will too. An investment in imagination and passion is <em>always</em> worthwhile. </p> <p> And honestly, this is something I’d love to try someday, myself. :) </p> <br /> <hr /> <font size="1">greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2009 - licensed under a <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">Creative Commons License</a>.</font> http://www.greghughes.net/rant/CommentView,guid,bdcfb533-c1b1-49e7-8888-38c283f00a02.aspx Geek Out Mobile Tech
http://www.greghughes.net/rant/Trackback.aspx?guid=fe930c63-8c6a-4542-b91f-19fbae168b15 http://www.greghughes.net/rant/pingback.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/PermaLink,guid,fe930c63-8c6a-4542-b91f-19fbae168b15.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/CommentView,guid,fe930c63-8c6a-4542-b91f-19fbae168b15.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/SyndicationService.asmx/GetEntryCommentsRss?guid=fe930c63-8c6a-4542-b91f-19fbae168b15 1 Apple Store app released Well, Apple has released their iPhone app version of the Apple Store, available in the app store now.

I tried to reserve an iPhone 4 through it this morning, but each time I enter and submit my phone account info, the app crashes and I'm returned to my iPad's home screen.

If I had to guess, I'd say AT&T's systems might be the problem since it crashes at the time the AT&T account info is submitted, but who knows. Regardless it's not a very graceful way to handle an error. :)

You can shop for anything Apple in the app, which is actually pretty slick.

Update: Still having problems on the AT&T site (which says it’s down for a server upgrade) and the Apple site, as well as the new iPhone store app doing the reservation. Honestly, you’d think these huge companies would plan ahead for the kind of volume they get every time these releases occur? If your bank planned ahead like this, you’d never get you money. It’s really completely inexcusable, and the track record is horrid. It’s hard to feel comfortable trusting my communication services and information to companies that don’t successfully execute on the basics like availability. Yikes…



greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2009 - licensed under a Creative Commons License. Apple Store app released http://www.greghughes.net/rant/PermaLink,guid,fe930c63-8c6a-4542-b91f-19fbae168b15.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/AppleStoreAppReleased.aspx Tue, 15 Jun 2010 15:18:00 GMT <a href="../../rant/content/binary/BlogNet_Apple-Store-app-released_image_62404630.png" target="_blank"><img style="margin: 10px; float: right" alt="Apple Store app released" src="../../rant/content/binary/BlogNet_Apple-Store-app-released_preview_48567344.png"></a>Well, Apple has released their iPhone app version of the Apple Store, available in the app store now. <p> I tried to reserve an iPhone 4 through it this morning, but each time I enter and submit my phone account info, the app crashes and I'm returned to my iPad's home screen. <p> If I had to guess, I'd say AT&amp;T's systems might be the problem since it crashes at the time the AT&amp;T account info is submitted, but who knows. Regardless it's not a very graceful way to handle an error. :) <p> You can shop for anything Apple in the app, which is actually pretty slick. <br style="clear: both"> <p> <em><strong>Update:</strong> Still having problems on the AT&amp;T site (which says it’s down for a server upgrade) and the Apple site, as well as the new iPhone store app doing the reservation. Honestly, you’d think these huge companies would plan ahead for the kind of volume they get every time these releases occur? If your bank planned ahead like this, you’d never get you money. It’s really completely inexcusable, and the track record is horrid. It’s hard to feel comfortable trusting my communication services and information to companies that don’t successfully execute on the basics like availability. Yikes…</em> </p> <br /> <hr /> <font size="1">greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2009 - licensed under a <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">Creative Commons License</a>.</font> http://www.greghughes.net/rant/CommentView,guid,fe930c63-8c6a-4542-b91f-19fbae168b15.aspx Apple Mobile Tech
http://www.greghughes.net/rant/Trackback.aspx?guid=52513521-e3aa-436d-9d81-fb96a167700e http://www.greghughes.net/rant/pingback.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/PermaLink,guid,52513521-e3aa-436d-9d81-fb96a167700e.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/CommentView,guid,52513521-e3aa-436d-9d81-fb96a167700e.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/SyndicationService.asmx/GetEntryCommentsRss?guid=52513521-e3aa-436d-9d81-fb96a167700e 3 To iPhone, or not to iPhone? That's the question. http://www.greghughes.net/rant/PermaLink,guid,52513521-e3aa-436d-9d81-fb96a167700e.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/ToIPhoneOrNotToIPhoneThatsTheQuestion.aspx Tue, 15 Jun 2010 02:36:38 GMT <p> Ah, dilemas... </p> <p> Yesterday as I was sitting on one of my favorite chairs with my iPad in hand, I found myself browsing the latest iPhone 4 news and rumors online. After all, the new Apple smartphone will be released to the wild in a week, and pre-orders start on Tuesday (tomorrow). So I had to get my fix of the excitement. </p> <p> But as I sat there for a while and hopped back and forth from the web browser to this app and that app on my iPad, it occurred to be: <em>Maybe I don't really need an iPhone anymore. Maybe I should look at my options.</em> </p> <p> Why would I even consider this? Well - <em>because I have the iPad</em>. </p> <p> A moment of clarity washed over me as I realized that all the functionality I rely upon on the iPhone is also available on the iPad, with few exceptions. All of my aviation software that I use for flying I have on the iPad for example, and honestly I prefer to use it there. Come to think of it, all the apps I use regularly are getting by far the most use these days on my iPad, not the iPhone. </p> <p> So, what exactly am I using my iPhone for, now that the iPad is in my life? What would I lose if my iPhone disappeared for good, that I can't find on my iPad? Honestly, it's a pretty short list: </p> <p> <ul> <li> Phone calls -Obviously I don't make calls on the iPad, those all happen on the iPhone. And the phone's not too reliable for that purpose, I should add. But I blame AT&T for that issue.<br /> </li> <li> Text messages - Which I also cannot do on the iPad, at least not in the native form. I use Google Voice for all my text and inbound voice calls anyhow, so I do some of that on the iPad, some on the phone.<br /> </li> <li> Location and mapping - But, most of my GPS navigation and guidance work is now performed by the iPad (there are a couple great HD turn-by-turn apps available).<br /> </li> <li> Facebook app - just for convenience, and because the app on the iPad is, well, the iPhone app (and what the heck's up with <em>that</em> anyhow?). But I also do Facebook in the Safari browser on the iPad. It's just not as portable. And Facebook is hardly a deal-breaker requirement.<br /> </li> <li> The iPhone is there any time I need pocket-sized app services - And this typically means using apps for things like weather and finding a store or restaurant, which I think can be done from other phones pretty easily. I don't want to carry the iPad with me everywhere, so there are times when I would have to go without.<br /> </li> <li> Photos - Again, not something you can create with the iPad since there's no camera. But honestly the camera in the iPhone 3G isn't much to speak of, and any phone I'd buy today will dramatically improve on the camera story. I might even get - *gasp* - video capability.</li> </ul> When I consider the (frankly) crappy call delivery and high cost of service on the AT&T network over the past few years, it's awfully tempting to consider making a move away from that carrier for my phone services, which would of course also mean moving off the iPhone. And maybe the iPad 3G makes that move possible for me. Im certain that's not what Apple or AT&T intended, but it might just be the effect.> <p> So - What to do? </p> <p> I should point out that I <em>do</em> have a few strong reasons to want to stay with the iPhone and get the new model. It has a great interface, common apps between devices are nice to have, and the fact of the matter is things look terrific on the iPhone display (and will look even better on the new one). I like Apple's hardware and software very much, despite the walls and restrictions they've put in place. </p> <p> In the "alternatives" department, I've started looking at the Sprint EVO 4G - a big new phone with a good performance spec sheet. There have been some rumors of glass/screen de-lamination so I will have to look into that to be sure. And battery life is rumored to be a bit weak. But, having access to 4G wireless data speeds in the city and a Sprint monthly service plan that costs less than the AT&T equivalent by as much as $30 is tempting. In fact, I could add Sprint's $29.95 Internet-sharing plan to the EVO 4G and it would serve as a wireless hotspot for me and 7 of my closest friends if I wanted. And all that for almost exactly the same cost I pay AT&T today for the same service, sans the 4G speeds and hot spot. </p> <p> I've also thought about the new Verizon phones. The Droid Incredible looks pretty darn sharp, although it appears one will have to wait until July for it to ship. And Verizon's network is - well, you know. It's the network! </p> <p> One interesting and frustrating tidbit about both of these Android phones is that neither comes with the Froyo (v2.2) version of Android installed. I'm sure HTC will ship it for the phones before too long, but it would have been nice to see them ship with the latest OS, especially given the performance improvements made in that version. </p> <p> And so, none of this brings me any closer to a final decision. None of these phones are available today, but since pre-order time is here I feel like I should be making a choice. I guess I don't have to, but I don't really want to wait for too long. This shattered screen is pretty aggravating. </p> <p> It would be cool to see the Android phones in action and to see whether the Android apps look any better on the phone's screen than they do in screenshots available on the web. Frankly, iPhone apps look pretty awesome most of the time, so I am a bit of spoiled iPhone snob, I suppose. Many of the screen shots of Android apps I have seen look like something on a Commodore 64 from when I was a kid. But maybe that's not the norm. So, if anyone has an EVO 4G they'd like to show off in the Portland area please let me know. :) </p> <p> What would you do, and why? </p> <br /> <hr /> <font size="1">greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2009 - licensed under a <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">Creative Commons License</a>.</font> http://www.greghughes.net/rant/CommentView,guid,52513521-e3aa-436d-9d81-fb96a167700e.aspx Apple Mobile Tech http://www.greghughes.net/rant/Trackback.aspx?guid=8ee0ac78-b1c8-40b0-a79c-c4e514d9ed91 http://www.greghughes.net/rant/pingback.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/PermaLink,guid,8ee0ac78-b1c8-40b0-a79c-c4e514d9ed91.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/CommentView,guid,8ee0ac78-b1c8-40b0-a79c-c4e514d9ed91.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/SyndicationService.asmx/GetEntryCommentsRss?guid=8ee0ac78-b1c8-40b0-a79c-c4e514d9ed91 AT&T wireless upgrade eligibiity moved up - and here comes the new iPhone http://www.greghughes.net/rant/PermaLink,guid,8ee0ac78-b1c8-40b0-a79c-c4e514d9ed91.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/ATTWirelessUpgradeEligibiityMovedUpAndHereComesTheNewIPhone.aspx Mon, 07 Jun 2010 15:15:47 GMT Last week I logged onto my AT&T Wireless account and checked out my account's upgrade eligibility there. At the time the site indicated it "Could not determine your upgrade eligibility." That was a little weird.<br /> <div> <br /> I logged back in today and looked again. With the bid Apple announcements expected today I figured it would be good to know if AT&T planned to make me wait until two years had passed on the calendar. When I asked in a store a few weeks back they'd told me late June.<br /> </div> <div> <br /> But today the AT&T site indicates I am already eligible now. <em>(Update: Apparently </em><a href="http://www.macrumors.com/2010/06/07/atandt-moves-up-iphone-upgrade-eligibility-on-eve-of-wwdc-keynote/" target="_blank"><em>I'm not the only one</em></a><em>)</em> </div> <div> <br /> </div> <p> <img src="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/content/binary/ATT-eligibility-thumb.png" height="186" align="left" width="380" /> <br /> The Apple keynote where a new 4th-generation iPhone is expected to be announced starts today at 10am. I'll be getting on a plane to go to Chicago about that time, so it looks like I will have to catch up on the news when I land. </p> <p> I will probably get a new iPhone, as long as they don't cost an exorbitant amount of money. My current phone is the original 3G model, has a shattered (but still fully functional) screen, and is very, very slow with some of the resource-intensive apps I run. I've looked at Android phones, and while the OS is cool the apps I use the most are not available on that platform and likely never will be. </p> <p> </p> <br /> <hr /> <font size="1">greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2009 - licensed under a <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">Creative Commons License</a>.</font> http://www.greghughes.net/rant/CommentView,guid,8ee0ac78-b1c8-40b0-a79c-c4e514d9ed91.aspx Apple Mobile Tech http://www.greghughes.net/rant/Trackback.aspx?guid=6017d76b-5446-4264-936d-66d6268a33b5 http://www.greghughes.net/rant/pingback.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/PermaLink,guid,6017d76b-5446-4264-936d-66d6268a33b5.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/CommentView,guid,6017d76b-5446-4264-936d-66d6268a33b5.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/SyndicationService.asmx/GetEntryCommentsRss?guid=6017d76b-5446-4264-936d-66d6268a33b5 1

I bought my iPad 3G just a month ago, and at the time I signed up for the AT&T Wireless unlimited data plan for $29.99 a month. I’m glad I did, and should point out to anyone on the 250MB plan who wants (or thinks they want) a truly unlimited plan, you have until June 6th to sign up for that plan. After that date, the unlimited data plan won’t be available anymore.

AT&T has announced they’re ending unlimited data plans pretty much across the board. The new plans will provide 250MB and 2GB of data each, with (fairly reasonable) overage charges. Current smartphone customers are not required to switch to the new plans, but can choose to do so without a contract extension.Before explaining the packages, I went to my iPad to see how much data I used during my first month with the iPad:

usage-ipad

I’m a pretty heavy user, with a chunk of my use at home, but plenty of data use on the road. So, maybe a 2GB account would work for me (at least most of the time). AT&T says only 2% of their smartphone users exceed 2GB per month. If I was working away from my home office even more, I think I’d likely hit the 2GB top end of the new account. And while I understand the logic around the per-month statistics for smartphones, the iPad really is a different type of device. So, I wonder what the iPad user monthly usage statistics are. What percentage went over 2GB in the first month the iPad with 3G was available? AT&T didn’t spell that out for us.

Luckily, I can retain my unlimited iPad data account if I want to. I just have to keep it auto-billing in order to keep it available, it sounds like. In the future if I find my usage consistently allows, I can choose to go for the 2GB capped account and save enough money for an expensive coffee.

Plan details from AT&T’s press release:

DataPro. Provides 2 gigabytes (GB) of data – for example, enough to send/receive 10,000 emails (no attachments), plus send/receive 1,500 emails with attachments, plus view 4,000 Web pages, plus post 500 photos to social media sites, plus watch 200 minutes of streaming video – for $25 per month.**  Should a customer exceed 2 GB during a billing cycle, they will receive an additional 1 GB of data for $10 for use in the cycle.  Currently, 98 percent of AT&T smartphone customers use less than 2 GB of data a month on average.

DataPlus. Provides 200 megabytes (MB) of data – for example, enough to send/receive 1,000 emails (no attachments), plus send/receive 150 emails with attachments, plus view 400 Web pages, plus post 50 photos on social media sites, plus watch 20 minutes of streaming video – for just $15 per month.**  This plan, which can save customers up to 50 percent off their wireless data charges, is designed for people who primarily like to surf the web, send email and use social networking apps. If customers exceed 200 MB in a monthly billing cycle, they will receive an additional 200 MB of data usage for $15 for use in the cycle.  Currently, 65 percent of AT&T smartphone customers use less than 200 MB of data per month on average.

** Usage examples are estimates. Individual results will vary based upon customer’s Internet usage patterns.

I guess the one thing that bothers me is that AT&T and Apple launched the iPad with an unlimited plan option. I am quite glad that existing iPad users can keep the plan they signed up for, but I think about future and new phone capabilities such as the likely video conferencing and streaming on new mobile devices that are set to be available this summer. I worry about plan limits which – in the future – could consistently result in overage charges once data usage organically increases with new hardware capabilities and demand.



greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2009 - licensed under a Creative Commons License. Good bye to unlimited wireless data on AT&amp;T &ndash; How will it affect iPad 3G owners? http://www.greghughes.net/rant/PermaLink,guid,6017d76b-5446-4264-936d-66d6268a33b5.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/GoodByeToUnlimitedWirelessDataOnATampTNdashHowWillItAffectIPad3GOwners.aspx Wed, 02 Jun 2010 14:38:38 GMT <p> I bought my iPad 3G just a month ago, and at the time I signed up for the AT&amp;T Wireless unlimited data plan for $29.99 a month. I’m glad I did, and should point out to anyone on the 250MB plan who wants (or thinks they want) a truly unlimited plan, <strong>you have until June 6th to sign up for that plan.</strong> After that date, the unlimited data plan won’t be available anymore. </p> <p> <a href="http://www.att.com/gen/press-room?pid=4800&amp;cdvn=news&amp;newsarticleid=30854" target="_blank">AT&amp;T has announced they’re ending unlimited data plans</a> pretty much across the board. The new plans will provide 250MB and 2GB of data each, with (fairly reasonable) overage charges. Current smartphone customers are not required to switch to the new plans, but can choose to do so without a contract extension.Before explaining the packages, I went to my iPad to see how much data I used during my first month with the iPad: </p> <p> <a href="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/content/binary/WindowsLiveWriter/GoodbyetounlimitedwirelessdataonATTHowwi_6B7C/usage-ipad.jpg"><img style="border-bottom: 0px; border-left: 0px; display: block; float: none; margin-left: auto; border-top: 0px; margin-right: auto; border-right: 0px" title="usage-ipad" border="0" alt="usage-ipad" src="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/content/binary/WindowsLiveWriter/GoodbyetounlimitedwirelessdataonATTHowwi_6B7C/usage-ipad_thumb.jpg" width="644" height="250"></a> </p> <p> I’m a pretty heavy user, with a chunk of my use at home, but plenty of data use on the road. So, maybe a 2GB account would work for me (at least most of the time). AT&amp;T says only 2% of their smartphone users exceed 2GB per month. If I was working away from my home office even more, I think I’d likely hit the 2GB top end of the new account. And while I understand the logic around the per-month statistics for smartphones, the iPad really is a different type of device. So, I wonder what the iPad user monthly usage statistics are. What percentage went over 2GB in the first month the iPad with 3G was available? AT&amp;T didn’t spell that out for us. </p> <p> Luckily, I can retain my unlimited iPad data account if I want to. I just have to keep it auto-billing in order to keep it available, it sounds like. In the future if I find my usage consistently allows, I can choose to go for the 2GB capped account and save enough money for an expensive coffee. </p> <p> Plan details from AT&amp;T’s press release: </p> <blockquote> <p> <em><strong>DataPro.</strong> Provides 2 gigabytes (GB) of data – for example, enough to send/receive 10,000 emails (no attachments), plus send/receive 1,500 emails with attachments, plus view 4,000 Web pages, plus post 500 photos to social media sites, plus watch 200 minutes of streaming video – for $25 per month.**&nbsp; Should a customer exceed 2 GB during a billing cycle, they will receive an additional 1 GB of data for $10 for use in the cycle.&nbsp; Currently, 98 percent of AT&amp;T smartphone customers use less than 2 GB of data a month on average.</em> </p> <p> <em><strong>DataPlus.</strong> Provides 200 megabytes (MB) of data – for example, enough to send/receive 1,000 emails (no attachments), plus send/receive 150 emails with attachments, plus view 400 Web pages, plus post 50 photos on social media sites, plus watch 20 minutes of streaming video – for just $15 per month.**&nbsp; This plan, which can save customers up to 50 percent off their wireless data charges, is designed for people who primarily like to surf the web, send email and use social networking apps. If customers exceed 200 MB in a monthly billing cycle, they will receive an additional 200 MB of data usage for $15 for use in the cycle.&nbsp; Currently, 65 percent of AT&amp;T smartphone customers use less than 200 MB of data per month on average.</em> </p> <p> <em>** Usage examples are estimates. Individual results will vary based upon customer’s Internet usage patterns.</em> </p> </blockquote> <p> I guess the one thing that bothers me is that AT&amp;T and Apple launched the iPad with an unlimited plan option. I am quite glad that existing iPad users can keep the plan they signed up for, but I think about future and new phone capabilities such as the likely video conferencing and streaming on new mobile devices that are set to be available this summer. I worry about plan limits which – in the future – could consistently result in overage charges once data usage organically increases with new hardware capabilities and demand. </p> <br /> <hr /> <font size="1">greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2009 - licensed under a <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">Creative Commons License</a>.</font> http://www.greghughes.net/rant/CommentView,guid,6017d76b-5446-4264-936d-66d6268a33b5.aspx Apple Mobile Tech
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On Friday evening last week I stood in line for about an hour along with a slew of geeks and even a few nerds at the Apple Store in Tigard, Oregon to get one of the first Apple iPad 3G models. There were about 35 or 40 people ahead of me in line, and a few more than that in line behind me by the time the 5pm release clock rolled around and the Apple staff came screaming down the hallway in the mall.

Within only 15 minutes I was already on my way back out the door of the store with a 64GB 3G model in a bag, and about $930 less in the bank (I got the AppleCare contract based on past experience). I picked up the model with the most storage simply because (again based on experience) I have tended to skimp in that area and have always come to regret the choice. So, this time I was all-in.

As I have mentioned before here, I use my iPhone for all sorts of things, but especially for aviation related tasks. Since the Foreflight aviation software for pilots was released in an iPad HD version in early April, I knew that was going to become my electronic flight bag. In fact, I might not have even bought an iPad at this point if it wasn't for Foreflight. I waited for the 3G model before buying because its built-in GPS can be used by Foreflight's maps and location-based information system. I'll write a Foreflight HD review soon. It's quite awesome, especially considering this is the first rev if the HD version. I can't wait to see what they improve and add over time. Check out http://www.foreflight.com for details.

After using it for a few days, though, there are lots more reasons I'm glad I made the jump and picked this thing up.

There are so many well-worn cliche statements about the iPad that people have used over the past month. Some of them are especially true, though. For example, reading and writing email on this thing is awesome. It's the way it should be.

Not everything is so perfect in iPad land, though. I wrote this blog post in a program (BlogPress) that is available in a HD version that uses the full iPad screen space, but it won't publish to my site. I guess the metaweblog API isn't good enough for it. :) Unfortunately it appears a good, solid, full featured blog authoring app is a pretty serious gap in the bazillions of apps available on the App Store. There's an opportunity just waiting for someone to tackle it.

The 3G radio, as one pretty much has to expect, pulls down the charge on the battery faster than the iPad model that's just wifi. Of course, you can turn 3G and wifi off and on as you like, independently. How much battery power is actually used with a 3G connection seems to be dependent -- and this makes logical sense -- on the distance from the cell towers and the relative transmit power needed to make the radio connections. Id imagine its also dependent on the type of connection and the frequency band in use on a given tower. Common sense applies to battery life just like any other device. On both models backlight brightness also contributes to batty life, of course.

I've started searching for a high-output car charger, since the iPad needs more than the typical iPhone charger puts out. Kensington and a couple other companies are making a 2.1-watt charger that will allow the iPad to charge in the car in a reasonable amount of time, so I will be picking up one of those soon.

A few of my favorite other apps that have a place on my home screen page:

I set up and tried the AT&T navigator turn by turn software that I already had running on my iPhone. Even though its not iPad screen optimized and I have to use the zoom resized to go full screen, it works great and even better than on the iPhone 3G. The iPad has much louder and clearer voice navigation (and music sound for that matter) and the GPS is fast and more accurate. It just runs better overall. The iPad is a terrific GPS device it seems. Time for some custom iPad dash mounts. Do a YouTube search and you'll see a couple.

I've started using one iPhone app again that I'd let languish for some time because again its just better on the iPad even though you have to zoom it to use the full screen: BeeJive Instant Messenger. The extra real estate and bigger typing surface is great. I hope they release a HD iPad version soon.

The Safari browser on the iPad is awesome and almost so second nature I forgot to mention it. I did notice though that some sites optimized to work with iPhone are a little weird in the iPad browser. Google Voice is a good example (for both the mobile and standard interfaces especially when it comes to the voice mail playback areas of the interface).

Netflix for the iPad is pure genius, and as more flicks are released for streaming it just keeps getting more and more worthwhile. Hulu needs to get their iPad act together now, for real. The ABC video app is cool and now it plays over 3G with a new update, too. (updated)word is they will be updating it so you can play video over the 3G. Right now ABC's app only streams over wifi.

My favorite game so far is FlightControl HD, a top-down view map game where you land airplanes and helicopters and keep them from crashing into each other. Relatively simple, pure genius. Addictive stuff. I haven't tried many other games just because I'm not a huge gamer. Some of the driving games sure look fun though.

The Weather Channel HD app is also really slick. Lots of great info there, in a well-used piece of screen real estate.

There are others, as well but that gives you an idea. I'll write more at a later time.

Anyone else got a list of killer apps for iPad 3G I should be sure to check out?



greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2009 - licensed under a Creative Commons License. Initial thoughts and experiences with the iPad 3G http://www.greghughes.net/rant/PermaLink,guid,e1676815-c87f-471b-b014-8c8336a77dee.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/InitialThoughtsAndExperiencesWithTheIPad3G.aspx Tue, 04 May 2010 01:33:11 GMT <p> On Friday evening last week I stood in line for about an hour along with a slew of geeks and even a few nerds at the Apple Store in Tigard, Oregon to get one of the first Apple iPad 3G models. There were about 35 or 40 people ahead of me in line, and a few more than that in line behind me by the time the 5pm release clock rolled around and the Apple staff came screaming down the hallway in the mall. </p> <p> Within only 15 minutes I was already on my way back out the door of the store with a 64GB 3G model in a bag, and about $930 less in the bank (I got the AppleCare contract based on past experience). I picked up the model with the most storage simply because (again based on experience) I have tended to skimp in that area and have always come to regret the choice. So, this time I was all-in. </p> <p> As I have mentioned before here, I use my iPhone for all sorts of things, but especially for aviation related tasks. Since the Foreflight aviation software for pilots was released in an iPad HD version in early April, I knew that was going to become my electronic flight bag. In fact, I might not have even bought an iPad at this point if it wasn't for Foreflight. I waited for the 3G model before buying because its built-in GPS can be used by Foreflight's maps and location-based information system. I'll write a Foreflight HD review soon. It's quite awesome, especially considering this is the first rev if the HD version. I can't wait to see what they improve and add over time. Check out <a href="http://www.foreflight.com/">http://www.foreflight.com</a> for details. </p> <p> After using it for a few days, though, there are <em>lots</em> more reasons I'm glad I made the jump and picked this thing up. </p> <p> There are so many well-worn cliche statements about the iPad that people have used over the past month. Some of them are especially true, though. For example, reading and writing email on this thing is awesome. It's the way it should be. </p> <p> Not everything is so perfect in iPad land, though. I wrote this blog post in a program (BlogPress) that is available in a HD version that uses the full iPad screen space, but it won't publish to my site. I guess the metaweblog API isn't good enough for it. :) Unfortunately it appears a good, solid, full featured blog authoring app is a pretty serious gap in the bazillions of apps available on the App Store. There's an opportunity just waiting for someone to tackle it. </p> <p> The 3G radio, as one pretty much has to expect, pulls down the charge on the battery faster than the iPad model that's just wifi. Of course, you can turn 3G and wifi off and on as you like, independently. How much battery power is actually used with a 3G connection seems to be dependent -- and this makes logical sense -- on the distance from the cell towers and the relative transmit power needed to make the radio connections. Id imagine its also dependent on the type of connection and the frequency band in use on a given tower. Common sense applies to battery life just like any other device. On both models backlight brightness also contributes to batty life, of course. </p> <p> I've started searching for a high-output car charger, since the iPad needs more than the typical iPhone charger puts out. Kensington and a couple other companies are making a 2.1-watt charger that will allow the iPad to charge in the car in a reasonable amount of time, so I will be picking up one of those soon. </p> <p> A few of my favorite other apps that have a place on my home screen page: </p> <p> I set up and tried the AT&amp;T navigator turn by turn software that I already had running on my iPhone. Even though its not iPad screen optimized and I have to use the zoom resized to go full screen, it works great and even better than on the iPhone 3G. The iPad has much louder and clearer voice navigation (and music sound for that matter) and the GPS is fast and more accurate. It just runs better overall. The iPad is a terrific GPS device it seems. Time for some custom iPad dash mounts. Do a YouTube search and you'll see a couple. </p> <p> I've started using one iPhone app again that I'd let languish for some time because again its just better on the iPad even though you have to zoom it to use the full screen: BeeJive Instant Messenger. The extra real estate and bigger typing surface is great. I hope they release a HD iPad version soon. </p> <p> The Safari browser on the iPad is awesome and almost so second nature I forgot to mention it. I did notice though that some sites optimized to work with iPhone are a little weird in the iPad browser. Google Voice is a good example (for both the mobile and standard interfaces especially when it comes to the voice mail playback areas of the interface). </p> <p> Netflix for the iPad is pure genius, and as more flicks are released for streaming it just keeps getting more and more worthwhile. Hulu needs to get their iPad act together now, for real. The ABC video app is cool and now it plays over 3G with a new update, too. <i>(updated)</i> <strike>word is they will be updating it so you can play video over the 3G. Right now ABC's app only streams over wifi. </strike> </p> <p> My favorite game so far is FlightControl HD, a top-down view map game where you land airplanes and helicopters and keep them from crashing into each other. Relatively simple, pure genius. Addictive stuff. I haven't tried many other games just because I'm not a huge gamer. Some of the driving games sure look fun though. </p> <p> The Weather Channel HD app is also really slick. Lots of great info there, in a well-used piece of screen real estate. </p> <p> There are others, as well but that gives you an idea. I'll write more at a later time. </p> <p> Anyone else got a list of killer apps for iPad 3G I should be sure to check out? </p> <br /> <hr /> <font size="1">greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2009 - licensed under a <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">Creative Commons License</a>.</font> http://www.greghughes.net/rant/CommentView,guid,e1676815-c87f-471b-b014-8c8336a77dee.aspx Apple Geek Out Mobile Tech
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I drove down to Best Buy today to check out the iPads they had on display and for sale. It was about 1:30 p.m. when we arrived and they still had quite a few in stock, but only the 32GB and 64GB models. The 16GB iPads had sold out just before we arrived.

My impressions of the device were this: It was a little heavier than I thought it would be, and a little thicker feeling, but a nice size. It has a great display and is very snappy and responsive. The iPhone apps displayed at 2x resolution were generally pretty blocky looking, but useable at least until a higher-resolution version is released. I wouldn’t want to keep viewing some of them for too long just because it was hard to look at them that way for more than a few minutes. Maybe I’m just spoiled.

Why do I want one of these things? There are a variety of reasons, but one particular reason tops my list. I’m very much looking forward to running ForeFlight Mobile HD on the iPad in the future. The picture on the right shows a couple cool screens of the aviation application revamped for the iPad’s larger display. They’ve iPad-ified acreens for plates, maps, weather, downloads, and airport data. They’ll be adding a bunch of other iPad enhancements in a future update.

Anyhow, back to my check-out-the-iPad experience… The Best Buy sales guy said ( in a “you didn’t hear it from me” sort of way) that they would have another shipment of them in next Sunday. For what it’s worth. I asked for and got a paper from the guy entitling me to go to the front counter and pick up a 32GB model and continued to shop at the store. But, as I thought about it I kept returning to my position over the past few days: The iPad doesn’t have enough value for me without the 3G radio built in. I was considering buying one for use around the house, but just couldn’t justify buying two of these in the first month.

So, I returned the paper to the floor sales guy and said thanks, but I was going to wait for the 3G models. He nodded and said he understood.

It’s a cool device with a nice interface. It’s a lot like a big iPod Touch or iPhone, as the kids pointed out. But it also can do more than the smaller devices in terms of app capabilities and performance.

I’ll pick one up once the 3G models are out. For now, I’ll wait.



greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2009 - licensed under a Creative Commons License. Checking out the iPad http://www.greghughes.net/rant/PermaLink,guid,39eac9d0-579c-410d-bb32-7c5c707cc15b.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/CheckingOutTheIPad.aspx Sun, 04 Apr 2010 04:06:48 GMT <p> I drove down to Best Buy today to check out the iPads they had on display and for sale. It was about 1:30 p.m. when we arrived and they still had quite a few in stock, but only the 32GB and 64GB models. The 16GB iPads had sold out just before we arrived. </p> <p> My impressions of the device were this: It was a little heavier than I thought it would be, and a little thicker feeling, but a nice size. It has a great display and is very snappy and responsive. The iPhone apps displayed at 2x resolution were generally pretty blocky looking, but useable at least until a higher-resolution version is released. I wouldn’t want to keep viewing some of them for too long just because it was hard to look at them that way for more than a few minutes. Maybe I’m just spoiled. </p> <p> Why do I want one of these things? <img style="border-bottom: 0px; border-left: 0px; margin: 15px 0px 10px 20px; display: inline; border-top: 0px; border-right: 0px" border="0" align="right" src="http://i2.cmail1.com/ei/y/AA/498/87A/154831/csimport/main_1.jpg" width="337" height="189">There are a variety of reasons, but one particular reason tops my list. I’m very much looking forward to running <a href="http://www.foreflight.com/ipad" target="_blank">ForeFlight Mobile HD on the iPad</a> in the future. The picture on the right shows a couple cool screens of the aviation application revamped for the iPad’s larger display. They’ve iPad-ified acreens for plates, maps, weather, downloads, and airport data. They’ll be adding a bunch of other iPad enhancements in a future update. </p> <p> Anyhow, back to my check-out-the-iPad experience… The Best Buy sales guy said ( in a “you didn’t hear it from me” sort of way) that they would have another shipment of them in next Sunday. For what it’s worth. I asked for and got a paper from the guy entitling me to go to the front counter and pick up a 32GB model and continued to shop at the store. But, as I thought about it I kept returning to my position over the past few days: The iPad doesn’t have enough value for me without the 3G radio built in. I was considering buying one for use around the house, but just couldn’t justify buying two of these in the first month. </p> <p> So, I returned the paper to the floor sales guy and said thanks, but I was going to wait for the 3G models. He nodded and said he understood. </p> <p> It’s a cool device with a nice interface. It’s a lot like a big iPod Touch or iPhone, as the kids pointed out. But it also can do more than the smaller devices in terms of app capabilities and performance. </p> <p> I’ll pick one up once the 3G models are out. For now, I’ll wait. </p> <br /> <hr /> <font size="1">greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2009 - licensed under a <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">Creative Commons License</a>.</font> http://www.greghughes.net/rant/CommentView,guid,39eac9d0-579c-410d-bb32-7c5c707cc15b.aspx Apple Mobile Tech
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I decided the other day that I won’t be in the lines on Saturday morning when the iPad becomes available at Apple stores and Best Buys around the country. Cory Doctorow also says he won’t buy one, but for different reasons. He goes so far as to say you shouldn't get one either. Interesting arguments. I’ve discussed before – here on this site - some of the reasons I think I want one, as well as some of the concerns I have about it, and in the end I do want to acquire one.

But, this Saturday’s event won’t be for me.

Why? I’m going to wait for the 3G-equipped model.

The more I think about it, the more I realize I need portability in the iPad if I am going to use it, meaning portability and network access across the boundaries and gaps of WiFi networks. I plan to use an iPad from the road, in the hangar, at any random place where I might land and want to check a weather report and email, that sort of thing. So, without an available-most-everywhere data service (a phrase that some, I know, will debate at length), it just won’t meet my needs.

So, I wait.

Anyone else waiting for the 3G models before buying? Too bad they’re not available on day-one. I’d grab my lawn line chair and head right down there if they were.

Update: A good New York Times article talks about perceptions, limitations and redundancy in the iPad. Interesting perspective.



greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2009 - licensed under a Creative Commons License. Why I&rsquo;m not buying an iPad &ndash; yet&hellip; http://www.greghughes.net/rant/PermaLink,guid,79192c7b-f174-45b3-8d98-43c74e904dd7.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/WhyIrsquomNotBuyingAnIPadNdashYethellip.aspx Fri, 02 Apr 2010 17:32:42 GMT <p> I decided the other day that I won’t be in the lines on Saturday morning when the iPad becomes available at Apple stores and Best Buys around the country. Cory Doctorow <a href="http://www.boingboing.net/2010/04/02/why-i-wont-buy-an-ipad-and-think-you-shouldnt-either.html" target="_blank">also says he won’t buy one</a>, but for different reasons. He goes so far as to say you shouldn't get one either. Interesting arguments. I’ve discussed before – here on this site - <a href="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/WhyTheAppleIPadTabletWillFindAHomeInMyAirplaneCockpitAndInMyLife.aspx" target="_blank">some of the reasons</a> I think I want one, as well as some of the <a href="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/AComplicatedTaleOfTheNotevenyetreleasedIPadLackOfOpennessIsVeryIBad.aspx" target="_blank">concerns I have about it</a>, and in the end I do want to acquire one. </p> <p> But, this Saturday’s event won’t be for me. </p> <p> Why? I’m going to wait for the 3G-equipped model. </p> <p> The more I think about it, the more I realize I need portability in the iPad if I am going to use it, meaning portability and network access across the boundaries and gaps of WiFi networks. I plan to use an iPad from the road, <a href="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/WhyTheAppleIPadTabletWillFindAHomeInMyAirplaneCockpitAndInMyLife.aspx" target="_blank">in the hangar</a>, at any random place where I might land and want to check a weather report and email, that sort of thing. So, without an available-most-everywhere data service (a phrase that some, I know, will debate at length), it just won’t meet my needs. </p> <p> So, I wait. </p> <p> Anyone else waiting for the 3G models before buying? Too bad they’re not available on day-one. I’d grab my <strike>lawn</strike> line chair and head right down there if they were. </p> <blockquote> <p> <em><strong>Update:</strong> A good </em><a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/02/technology/personaltech/02gadget.html?partner=rss&amp;emc=rss" target="_blank"><em>New York Times article</em></a><em> talks about perceptions, limitations and redundancy in the iPad. Interesting perspective.</em> </p> </blockquote> <br /> <hr /> <font size="1">greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2009 - licensed under a <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">Creative Commons License</a>.</font> http://www.greghughes.net/rant/CommentView,guid,79192c7b-f174-45b3-8d98-43c74e904dd7.aspx Apple Mobile Tech
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A guy named Chad contacted me today and asked if I knew how to get the newest version of Blackberry Messenger (which, as of the time of this writing is v5.0.0.57) on his Blackberry device. He was having problems finding it because his BB Desktop Manager software would not find the update, he said. After some questions and answers, I found the page linked below on the Blackberry support web site, which allows you to send a link to your BB so you can download and install the software app (assuming you have rights to install apps on your phone, of course).

Once installed, you may have to reboot your Blackberry device.

Hopefully that helps someone else!



greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2009 - licensed under a Creative Commons License. How to find and download the latest version of Blackberry Messenger http://www.greghughes.net/rant/PermaLink,guid,4e40015e-c69b-47ac-9b56-7013ba2761f1.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/HowToFindAndDownloadTheLatestVersionOfBlackberryMessenger.aspx Thu, 11 Feb 2010 15:56:38 GMT <p> A guy named Chad contacted me today and asked if I knew how to get the newest version of Blackberry Messenger (which, as of the time of this writing is v5.0.0.57) on his Blackberry device. He was having problems finding it because his BB Desktop Manager software would not find the update, he said. After some questions and answers, I found the page linked below on the Blackberry support web site, which allows you to send a link to your BB so you can download and install the software app (assuming you have rights to install apps on your phone, of course). </p> <ul> <li> You can <a href="http://na.blackberry.com/eng/devices/features/im/blackberry_messenger_download.jsp" target="_blank">visit this page in any browser</a> and enter your email address to be sent a link, or…</li> <li> you can <a href="http://www.blackberry.com/blackberrymessenger" target="_blank">go to this link with your Blackberry browser</a> and get the software that way, or…</li> <li> you can <a href="http://appworld.blackberry.com/webstore/content/3729" target="_blank">get it through AppWorld</a> (which I know very little about since I am more of an iPhone app guy)</li> </ul> <p> Once installed, you may have to reboot your Blackberry device. </p> <p> Hopefully that helps someone else! </p> <br /> <hr /> <font size="1">greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2009 - licensed under a <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">Creative Commons License</a>.</font> http://www.greghughes.net/rant/CommentView,guid,4e40015e-c69b-47ac-9b56-7013ba2761f1.aspx Mobile Tech
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You could argue that one shouldn’t complain about a product before it lands in your hot little hands, but a common theme over the past few days among the pundits on the web has been the newly-announced iPad and it’s apparent lack of openness. as Alex Payne comments, “Apple has decided that openness is not a quality that’s necessary in a personal computer. That’s disturbing.”

While I think the iPad is a cool device, and that it will be useful, and that I will likely buy one… I have to agree with Alex. He’s right. That’s an interesting and complicated place to be: I want to and probably will use an iPad to do good things, and make valuable use of it. But there’s a big part of me that won’t like it too much.

The risks of closed platforms have been debated for some time, in many venues and over a variety of companies, platforms and systems. Lots of catchy terms like “walled garden” and “black box” are used to describe essentially one thing: Vendor-provided ecosystems that you can only interact with they way the vendor allows you to.

It’s why the iPhone “hacking” community has been so active, and so popular. Everywhere I see teenagers and aducts with iPhones that have been “jailbroken” so they could run third party apps and get around Apple-instituted limitations, or unlocked so they could drop in a T-Mobile SIM card. The numbers are staggering when you look at how many iPhones have been modified. And I think we all know that the same community will step up and take the same approach with the iPad. After all, “it’s just a big iPod touch,” as they say. Well, whether you look at it that way or not, the software is a common denominator for sure.

Apple needs to step up and find a way to work their garden so the walls can at least be lower. There must be a healthy balance between truly closed, which is what we have today. Apps can’t be installed on the iPhone unless Apple sells and approves then (unless you jailbreak your device). Allow multitasking and background application activity, in the very least. Some restrictions are simply unacceptable.

The closed nature of the device – and I call it that purposefully – foretells the possible future, one where consumer devices replace computing systems. The iPad may have a computer chip in it, but so do my clock radio and televisions, and those are devices – not computers. If I can’t have unfettered access to the computer, it’s a device in my mind. When I was a kid we used to get into the guts of the computer, physically and programming-wise. We were able to make them do whatever our little hearts desired. That might be something good or bad, smart or stupid, broken or functional. But we learned and we created, we discovered and we built.

The iPad is a design feat (with a fat bezel, but still a cool design). The OS is another design usability marvel. The ecosystem built around the devices is popular, usable and works. But it stifles creativity, choice, flexibility. Are we at another of these inflection points, where things like common-person usability and “it just works” are acceptable trade-offs for flexibility and capability?

My hope is that Apple will step up to the plate and make some hard choices that benefit their customers’ bigger-picture needs. It’s the right thing to do, and would add some traction to what otherwise appears to be a deceptively  slippery slope. I can envision a software switch (which would be set to the “safest” mode by default) that a device user could manipulate to “lower the garden walls” electronically as a matter of choice, with the potential consequences clearly spelled out (and I should point out that this would be a useful enterprise capability as well, should they wish to properly and securely enter that space someday).

Choice. What a concept.

Ready – Set – Comment.



greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2009 - licensed under a Creative Commons License. A complicated tale of the not-even-yet-released iPad: Lack of openness is very iBad http://www.greghughes.net/rant/PermaLink,guid,8cc3bfb6-d760-4a99-8aa0-41594fee8b87.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/AComplicatedTaleOfTheNotevenyetreleasedIPadLackOfOpennessIsVeryIBad.aspx Fri, 29 Jan 2010 19:38:03 GMT <p> You could argue that one shouldn’t complain about a product before it lands in your hot little hands, but a common theme over the past few days among the pundits on the web has been the newly-announced iPad and it’s apparent lack of openness. <a href="http://al3x.net/2010/01/28/ipad.html" target="_blank">as Alex Payne comments</a>, “Apple has decided that openness is not a quality that’s necessary in a personal computer. That’s disturbing.” </p> <p> While I think the iPad is a cool device, and that it will be useful, and that I will likely buy one… I have to agree with Alex. He’s right. That’s an interesting and complicated place to be: I want to and probably will use an iPad <a href="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/WhyTheAppleIPadTabletWillFindAHomeInMyAirplaneCockpitAndInMyLife.aspx" target="_blank">to do good things</a>, and make valuable use of it. But there’s a big part of me that won’t like it too much. </p> <p> The risks of closed platforms have been debated for some time, in many venues and over a variety of companies, platforms and systems. Lots of catchy terms like “walled garden” and “black box” are used to describe essentially one thing: Vendor-provided ecosystems that you can only interact with they way the vendor allows you to. </p> <p> It’s why the iPhone “hacking” community has been so active, and so popular. Everywhere I see teenagers and aducts with iPhones that have been “jailbroken” so they could run third party apps and get around Apple-instituted limitations, or unlocked so they could drop in a T-Mobile SIM card. The numbers are staggering when you look at how many iPhones have been modified. And I think we all know that the same community will step up and take the same approach with the iPad. After all, “it’s just a big iPod touch,” as they say. Well, whether you look at it that way or not, the software is a common denominator for sure. </p> <p> Apple needs to step up and find a way to work their garden so the walls can at least be lower. There must be a healthy balance between truly closed, which is what we have today. Apps can’t be installed on the iPhone unless Apple sells and approves then (unless you jailbreak your device). Allow multitasking and background application activity, in the very least. Some restrictions are simply unacceptable. </p> <p> The closed nature of the device – and I call it that purposefully – foretells the possible future, one where consumer devices replace computing systems. The iPad may have a computer chip in it, but so do my clock radio and televisions, and those are devices – not computers. If I can’t have unfettered access to the computer, it’s a device in my mind. When I was a kid we used to get into the guts of the computer, physically and programming-wise. We were able to make them do whatever our little hearts desired. That might be something good or bad, smart or stupid, broken or functional. But we learned and we created, we discovered and we built. </p> <p> The iPad is a design feat (with a fat bezel, but still a cool design). The OS is another design usability marvel. The ecosystem built around the devices is popular, usable and works. But it stifles creativity, choice, flexibility. Are we at another of these inflection points, where things like common-person usability and “it just works” are acceptable trade-offs for flexibility and capability? </p> <p> My hope is that Apple will step up to the plate and make some hard choices that benefit their customers’ bigger-picture needs. It’s the right thing to do, and would add some traction to what otherwise appears to be a deceptively&nbsp; slippery slope. I can envision a software switch (which would be set to the “safest” mode by default) that a device user could manipulate to “lower the garden walls” electronically as a matter of <em>choice</em>, with the potential consequences clearly spelled out (and I should point out that this would be a useful enterprise capability as well, should they wish to properly and securely enter that space someday). </p> <p> Choice. What a concept. </p> <p> Ready – Set – Comment. </p> <br /> <hr /> <font size="1">greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2009 - licensed under a <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">Creative Commons License</a>.</font> http://www.greghughes.net/rant/CommentView,guid,8cc3bfb6-d760-4a99-8aa0-41594fee8b87.aspx Apple Mobile Tech Things that Suck
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Apple is taking the covers off a new “tablet” style device today – called the iPad (link to Apple’s new product site, with video) - in a much-hyped announcement. I rely on my iPhone in so many different ways nowadays that I have a hard time thinking what work and life would be like without it. I could manage just fine, but things would change substantially.

One of the things I do a lot with my iPhone is pilot-related. I have a number of apps on the iPhone that I use to help me look at aviation weather, airport information and diagrams, radar images, current wind and weather conditions, electronic charts, and a whole lot more.

iphone-ipad But the iPhone is a small screen for a lot of the information. Much like small GPS devices in the cockpit are convenient yet too small to offer the best experience, the iPhone doesn’t provide the best format for some content.

Here are the iPhone aviation and pilot apps I use most often:

  • ForeFlight Mobile – worth every penny and more, this is an amazing app for planning flight, filing your flight plan, lot of maps (VFR/IFR/street/weather/clouds), electronic airport information, weather info to the max (including closest station winds aloft) and much much much more.
  • CoPilot – I use it mostly for the terrific weight and balance calculator and graphing portion of the app. Also for some speed/distance/fuel/etc. calculations (all of which I always verify manually). If ForeFlight had all this included, it would be terrific.
  • AeroWeather – Probably the app I run most often. One tap on the screen and I have an instant one-screen view (very well laid-out) of the weather situation at each airport I care about, arranged the way I want.
  • TWC (The Weather Channel) – Not an aviation app, but it has a good 10-day view of the weather that tends to show the most pessimistic look at what’s forecasted, which is nice for pilots. We need an aviation-specific app with a long-term view like this one has (within reasonable predication limits).

http://c0581892.cdn.cloudfiles.rackspacecloud.com/apple-tablet-keynote_033.jpg

Enter the Apple iPad. Half and inch thick, 1.5 pounds and a 9.7-inch display. And it can run ALL iPhone apps out of the box, pixel for pixel with a border, or via pixel doubling in full-screen mode. A new SDK lets app developers take full advantage of the screen real estate and resolution.

And, there’s 3G service for $14.99/month for 250MB of data, or $29.99 for unlimited data - from AT&T. Free AT&T WiFi hotspot use with those accounts, too. But, the iPad 3G models are unlocked, so choose your GSM carrier. Prices for iPads start at $499 for a 16GB WiFi only model (with options of 32GB and 64GB storage), and 3G models for $629, $729 and $829. WiFi models available in 60 days, and 3G versions in 90 days.

Now, granted I am predicting the future a bit here, but hopefully ForeFlight and a few other iPhone apps on the new tablet will – assuming they all take advantage of the new display capabilities in updates – be the most perfect in-between device option for the private pilot.

Grab a copy of the latest AFD as an eBook? There’s an app for that.

I can even imagine Garmin or some other aviation GPS software/hardware maker offering a iPad app for sale, rather than selling a device with the software. The possibilities for flying – after accounting for very necessary safety and quality requirements - are great.

Anyone else think they might want an iPad for their aircraft cockpit?



greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2009 - licensed under a Creative Commons License. Why the Apple iPad Tablet will find a home in my airplane cockpit (and in my life) http://www.greghughes.net/rant/PermaLink,guid,defa859e-e86b-4563-8758-6efaf57fed5d.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/WhyTheAppleIPadTabletWillFindAHomeInMyAirplaneCockpitAndInMyLife.aspx Wed, 27 Jan 2010 19:46:37 GMT <p> Apple is <a href="http://www.engadget.com/2010/01/27/live-from-the-apple-tablet-latest-creation-event/?sort=newest&amp;refresh=0" target="_blank">taking the covers off</a> a new “tablet” style device today – <a href="http://www.apple.com/ipad" target="_blank">called the iPad</a> (link to Apple’s new product site, with video) - in a much-hyped announcement. I rely on my iPhone in so many different ways nowadays that I have a hard time thinking what work and life would be like without it. I could manage just fine, but things would change substantially. </p> <p> One of the things I do a lot with my iPhone is pilot-related. I have a number of apps on the iPhone that I use to help me look at aviation weather, airport information and diagrams, radar images, current wind and weather conditions, electronic charts, and a whole lot more. </p> <p> <a href="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/content/binary/WindowsLiveWriter/WhytheAppleiPadTabletwillfindahomeinmyai_A59C/iphone-ipad.jpg"><img style="border-right-width: 0px; margin: 5px 0px 10px 15px; display: inline; border-top-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px" title="iphone-ipad" border="0" alt="iphone-ipad" align="right" src="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/content/binary/WindowsLiveWriter/WhytheAppleiPadTabletwillfindahomeinmyai_A59C/iphone-ipad_thumb.jpg" width="240" height="159"></a> But the iPhone is a small screen for a lot of the information. Much like small GPS devices in the cockpit are convenient yet too small to offer the best experience, the iPhone doesn’t provide the best format for some content. </p> <p> Here are the iPhone aviation and pilot apps I use most often: </p> <ul> <li> <a href="http://www.foreflight.com/itunes/mobile" target="_blank">ForeFlight Mobile</a> – worth every penny and more, this is an amazing app for planning flight, filing your flight plan, lot of maps (VFR/IFR/street/weather/clouds), electronic airport information, weather info to the max (including closest station winds aloft) and much much much more. <li> <a href="http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewSoftware?id=286597694&amp;mt=8" target="_blank">CoPilot</a> – I use it mostly for the terrific weight and balance calculator and graphing portion of the app. Also for some speed/distance/fuel/etc. calculations (all of which I always verify manually). If ForeFlight had all this included, it would be <em>terrific</em>. <li> <a href="http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewSoftware?id=288286079&amp;mt=8&amp;uo=6" target="_blank">AeroWeather</a> – Probably the app I run most often. One tap on the screen and I have an instant one-screen view (very well laid-out) of the weather situation at each airport I care about, arranged the way I want. <li> TWC (The Weather Channel) – Not an aviation app, but it has a good 10-day view of the weather that tends to show the most pessimistic look at what’s forecasted, which is nice for pilots. We need an aviation-specific app with a long-term view like this one has (within reasonable predication limits).</li> </ul> <p> <img style="border-right-width: 0px; margin: 5px 0px 10px 15px; display: inline; border-top-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px" border="0" alt="http://c0581892.cdn.cloudfiles.rackspacecloud.com/apple-tablet-keynote_033.jpg" align="right" src="http://c0581892.cdn.cloudfiles.rackspacecloud.com/apple-tablet-keynote_033.jpg" width="300" height="199"> </p> <p> Enter the Apple iPad. Half and inch thick, 1.5 pounds and a 9.7-inch display. And it can run ALL iPhone apps out of the box, pixel for pixel with a border, or via pixel doubling in full-screen mode. A new SDK lets app developers take full advantage of the screen real estate and resolution. </p> <p> And, there’s 3G service for $14.99/month for 250MB of data, or $29.99 for unlimited data - from AT&amp;T. Free AT&amp;T WiFi hotspot use with those accounts, too. But, the iPad 3G models are unlocked, so choose your GSM carrier. Prices for iPads start at $499 for a 16GB WiFi only model (with options of 32GB and 64GB storage), and 3G models for $629, $729 and $829. WiFi models available in 60 days, and 3G versions in 90 days. </p> <p> Now, granted I am predicting the future a bit here, but hopefully ForeFlight and a few other iPhone apps on the new tablet will – assuming they all take advantage of the new display capabilities in updates – be the most perfect in-between device option for the private pilot. </p> <p> Grab a copy of the latest AFD as an eBook? There’s an app for that. </p> <p> </p> <p> I can even imagine Garmin or some other aviation GPS software/hardware maker offering a iPad app for sale, rather than selling a device with the software. The possibilities for flying – after accounting for very necessary safety and quality requirements - are great. </p> <p> Anyone else think they might want an iPad for their aircraft cockpit? </p> <br /> <hr /> <font size="1">greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2009 - licensed under a <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">Creative Commons License</a>.</font> http://www.greghughes.net/rant/CommentView,guid,defa859e-e86b-4563-8758-6efaf57fed5d.aspx Apple Mobile Tech
http://www.greghughes.net/rant/Trackback.aspx?guid=d35bff70-079c-4e4f-8839-780c2d94d3a9 http://www.greghughes.net/rant/pingback.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/PermaLink,guid,d35bff70-079c-4e4f-8839-780c2d94d3a9.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/CommentView,guid,d35bff70-079c-4e4f-8839-780c2d94d3a9.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/SyndicationService.asmx/GetEntryCommentsRss?guid=d35bff70-079c-4e4f-8839-780c2d94d3a9 4 What we need next from Google Voice: MMS support and multiple SMS recipients http://www.greghughes.net/rant/PermaLink,guid,d35bff70-079c-4e4f-8839-780c2d94d3a9.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/WhatWeNeedNextFromGoogleVoiceMMSSupportAndMultipleSMSRecipients.aspx Wed, 24 Jun 2009 05:42:34 GMT <p> <a href="http://www.google.com/voice" target="_blank">Google Voice</a> is awesome. It's the <a href="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/GoogleVoiceNdashMakingMultiplePhoneManagementSimpleAndUsable.aspx" target="_blank">greatest service</a> you can't get yet today. One number for all my phones, for life, replete with text messaging capabilities and a whole slew of cool features. </p> <p> But, as much as I love Google Voice, I will stand on my soapbox here for a few moments to yell into the ether about a couple of glaring omissions in the current release that I think Google should address sooner rather than later: MMS message support, and support for sending a mobile message (whether SMS or MMS) to multiple recipients at the same time. </p> <p> MMS messages are multimedia messages and are sent much like a text message. They're different than SMS message sin that they might include a video or a picture. Right now, if I want to receive a MMS message, I have to tell people to send them to my actual cell number, <em>not</em> my google voice number. Why? Because Google Voice quietly and calmly eats MMS messages, never to be seen again. This completely defeats the purpose behind the "one-number-for-them-all" story. So, it needs to change. When the iPhone on AT&T gets MMS service, which is likely to happen in July sometime, this need will become even more apparent and important. </p> <p> MMS support could probably be delivered in two phases. Right now if you send a MMS message to the Google Voice number, it just disappears into the ether, and is never delivered anywhere. You don't even know someone tried and the sender assumes it was delivered. To rectify this, Google could do a first phase change where MMS messages would simply be forwarded in original form to the mobile phone(s) configured in the system, without worrying about displaying them in the Google Voice web interface. In a second phase they could then enable web-based viewing. </p> <p> Second on my list is adding the ability to send an SMS (and MMS as a bonus) message to a group of recipients. We already have contact groups, and we can select more than one contact at a time in the web interface, but the option to send a SMS message disappears from the user interface as soon as you select more than one recipient. I regularly use SMS messages to notify members of a church youth group about meetings and other announcements as a group, so enabling a group-send as well as select-multiple to send SMS would be huge for me. As a bonus, provide me with a phone number that is virtually tied to that group so I can send one txt to my group number on my mobile phone. </p> <p> What features would you like to see added to Google Voice? </p> <br /> <hr /> <font size="1">greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2009 - licensed under a <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">Creative Commons License</a>.</font> http://www.greghughes.net/rant/CommentView,guid,d35bff70-079c-4e4f-8839-780c2d94d3a9.aspx Mobile Tech http://www.greghughes.net/rant/Trackback.aspx?guid=ea4d40a8-b4b8-4679-97b0-db7d6a0fbd4d http://www.greghughes.net/rant/pingback.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/PermaLink,guid,ea4d40a8-b4b8-4679-97b0-db7d6a0fbd4d.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/CommentView,guid,ea4d40a8-b4b8-4679-97b0-db7d6a0fbd4d.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/SyndicationService.asmx/GetEntryCommentsRss?guid=ea4d40a8-b4b8-4679-97b0-db7d6a0fbd4d Here comes the AT&T 3G Microcell femto launch - well, kind of... http://www.greghughes.net/rant/PermaLink,guid,ea4d40a8-b4b8-4679-97b0-db7d6a0fbd4d.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/HereComesTheATT3GMicrocellFemtoLaunchWellKindOf.aspx Wed, 24 Jun 2009 04:56:38 GMT <p> <a href="http://news.google.com/news/url?sa=t&ct2=us%2F0_0_s_0_0_t&usg=AFQjCNFLKMr2LJFBPu56BXSeFtSid0nW6Q&cid=1378864124&ei=y61BSrCEI47-lQSJtvJd&rt=SEARCH&vm=STANDARD&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.unstrung.com%2Fdocument.asp%3Fdoc_id%3D178413" title="" target="_blank">The latest news via Unstrung's Michelle Donegan</a> is that AT&T's 3G Microcell, which has been in a limited and private beta in the United States for a few months now, will be available in a sort of public beta in the coming weeks, in select (and as-yet unnamed) cities. The 3G Microcell is a device that you plus into your broadband connection at home. It has a 3G transceiver built in, and allows you to create a small cell area of coverage (hence the name "microcell" of course). I've written about it before, <a href="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/NewTechIrsquomAnxiouslyAwaitingGoogleVoiceAndTheAtampt3GMicrocell.aspx" target="_blank">here</a> and <a href="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/ATTs3GInHomeMicroCellComingSoonNewDetails.aspx" target="_blank">here</a>. </p> <p> From the <a href="http://news.google.com/news/url?sa=t&ct2=us%2F0_0_s_0_0_t&usg=AFQjCNFLKMr2LJFBPu56BXSeFtSid0nW6Q&cid=1378864124&ei=y61BSrCEI47-lQSJtvJd&rt=SEARCH&vm=STANDARD&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.unstrung.com%2Fdocument.asp%3Fdoc_id%3D178413" target="_blank">news article</a>: </p> <blockquote> <p> According to AT&T's executive director for radio access network delivery, Gordon Mansfield, who was speaking at the Femtocells World Summit in London today, about 200 users are testing the femto service in targeted customer trials.<br /> <br /> In the coming weeks, he added, "we will expand that into a marketing trial of the AT&T-branded 3G Microcell, which will be open to customers through our AT&T stores… in a handful of cities.<br /> <br /> "We're on track for a full national launch by the end of 2009." </p> </blockquote> <p> The equipment comes from network infrastructure equipment giant Cisco. </p> <p> I'm hoping that Portland is one of the metro areas they include in the text phase, since my home has pretty much zero coverage. But I do have broadband and would truly benefit from the product. </p> <p> <a href="http://www.gearlog.com/2009/06/att_iphone_coverage_getting_be.php" target="_blank">AT&T plans to add a whole bunch of 850 Mhz spectrum</a> to it's 3G service infrastructure, which should improve it's network performance and capacity substantially. Many have experienced the dropped call and unavailable network performance issues on AT&T's network, so this is a welcome change. But for those of us who simply live just outside the workable coverage area, the 3G Microcell will open even more doors for its customers. </p> <br /> <hr /> <font size="1">greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2009 - licensed under a <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">Creative Commons License</a>.</font> http://www.greghughes.net/rant/CommentView,guid,ea4d40a8-b4b8-4679-97b0-db7d6a0fbd4d.aspx Mobile Tech http://www.greghughes.net/rant/Trackback.aspx?guid=e897f99a-b4ec-40cf-82ca-f5391c379d45 http://www.greghughes.net/rant/pingback.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/PermaLink,guid,e897f99a-b4ec-40cf-82ca-f5391c379d45.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/CommentView,guid,e897f99a-b4ec-40cf-82ca-f5391c379d45.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/SyndicationService.asmx/GetEntryCommentsRss?guid=e897f99a-b4ec-40cf-82ca-f5391c379d45 5 Why I might just skip the iPhone 3GS - for now at least http://www.greghughes.net/rant/PermaLink,guid,e897f99a-b4ec-40cf-82ca-f5391c379d45.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/WhyIMightJustSkipTheIPhone3GSForNowAtLeast.aspx Tue, 09 Jun 2009 04:16:24 GMT <p> Today <a href="http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2009/06/08iphone.html" target="_blank">Apple announced</a> the next rev of the iPhone, the "<a href="http://i.gizmodo.com/5283099/iphone-3gs-complete-feature-guide" target="_blank">iPhone 3GS</a>." It has beefed up processing power and some cool new features like a better camera, more storage, etc. </p> <p> Normally I'd be ultra excited about getting one as soon as its available. But this time around, I'm having a hard time getting inspired. </p> <p> It has nothing to do with Apple's hardware and software. In fact, the processing power boosts and other changes are very, very tempting, and in a world where all else was equal it would be a no-brainer for me to drop the early upgrade cash on the table and move on up. </p> <p> But the fact of the matter is, with <a href="http://blogs.zdnet.com/BTL/?p=19417" target="_blank">AT&T's ultra-poor network performance</a> on my current iPhone 3G, I think I'm better off waiting until Apple adds another U.S. carrier. I consistently have to turn off the 3G capabilities on iPhone 3G in order to avoid dropped calls and to successfully get network connections. That was the case with the first iPhone 3G I had, too. To top it all off, the service has gotten worse recently in my experience. I just can't see dropping that much cash for a new phone to operate on a network that already sucks. I've been sorely disappointed by AT&T, almost to the point where I want to call them and tell them they've consistently failed to perform to the level of service they claim (which is 100% the case). </p> <p> It's time for Apple to drop that bomb on AT&T. Failure to perform in this case is going to cost Apple market share. It's got to be embarrassing to the company. During the announcements made today at Apple's World Wide Developer Conference, every time AT&T was mentioned the crowd just laughed. Seriously laughed, and not because there was a funny joke. It was because AT&T's quality is so lacking one just can' t help but either laugh or cry. They even laughed when AT&T was <em>not</em> mentioned - most notably with regard the fact that the carrier's logo was missing from some key slides in the presentation, pointing out AT&T's <a href="http://www.boygeniusreport.com/2009/06/08/the-reason-why-att-wont-support-mms-with-the-iphone-until-late-summer/" title="" target="_blank">lack of launch time support for MMS and tethering</a>, two of the key selling points for the new phone model. </p> <p> AT&T has turned into that partner that Apple doesn't need, and shouldn't want. It's time to make a change. AT&T has simply failed to perform. When you can't reliably make and maintain calls and the data network won't keep a connection between towers, something's just not good enough. I hope Apple will step up - sooner rather than later - and add another carrier or two even before AT&T's exclusive agreement expires. It takes two to be successful in any partnership, and in this one AT&T's turned into a bit of a boat anchor. </p> <p> What would change my mind on this one? Simple: When my current 3G phones work like they should on AT&Ts network, I'll be the first one to say so right here. Out loud and with conviction. But, I'm not holding my breath quite yet.Tmobile </p> <p> Maybe a good jailbreaking and switch to Tmobile will work on the new OS and device. I'm sure someone will figure out out. Desperate times call for desperate measures. We shall see. </p> <br /> <hr /> <font size="1">greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2009 - licensed under a <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">Creative Commons License</a>.</font> http://www.greghughes.net/rant/CommentView,guid,e897f99a-b4ec-40cf-82ca-f5391c379d45.aspx Apple Mobile Tech Things that Suck http://www.greghughes.net/rant/Trackback.aspx?guid=6f63e3dd-aae8-4db8-a739-9849f8d39621 http://www.greghughes.net/rant/pingback.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/PermaLink,guid,6f63e3dd-aae8-4db8-a739-9849f8d39621.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/CommentView,guid,6f63e3dd-aae8-4db8-a739-9849f8d39621.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/SyndicationService.asmx/GetEntryCommentsRss?guid=6f63e3dd-aae8-4db8-a739-9849f8d39621 2

Shorthand used to be reserved for stenographers and people who took dictation or a lot of notes. But for the vast majority of us it was never fun. Remember those days? Now shorthand is cool again, but in text messages sent and received on cell phones. And it seems as if everyone under 25 is doing it (as well as some of us old people).

Parents, if you're lost in the world of texting because the abbreviated vocabulary is confusing, no worries. Mobile phone manufacturer LG has released a new web site that allows you to decode txt message slang, and you can use it at http://www.lgdtxtr.com/.

So now you can get a better handle on what your kids are up to. Enjoy.



greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2009 - licensed under a Creative Commons License. De-TXT-er: A tool for parents who want to know what their kids are saying http://www.greghughes.net/rant/PermaLink,guid,6f63e3dd-aae8-4db8-a739-9849f8d39621.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/DeTXTerAToolForParentsWhoWantToKnowWhatTheirKidsAreSaying.aspx Wed, 27 May 2009 17:13:39 GMT <p> Shorthand used to be reserved for stenographers and people who <gasp> took dictation or a <em>lot</em> of notes. But for the vast majority of us it was never fun. Remember those days? Now shorthand is cool again, but in text messages sent and received on cell phones. And it seems as if <em>everyone</em> under 25 is doing it (as well as some of us old people). </p> <p> Parents, if you're lost in the world of texting because the abbreviated vocabulary is confusing, no worries. Mobile phone manufacturer LG has released a new web site that allows you to decode txt message slang, and you can use it at <a href="http://www.lgdtxtr.com/" target="_blank">http://www.lgdtxtr.com/</a>. </p> <p> So now you can get a better handle on what your kids are up to. Enjoy. </p> <br /> <hr /> <font size="1">greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2009 - licensed under a <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">Creative Commons License</a>.</font> http://www.greghughes.net/rant/CommentView,guid,6f63e3dd-aae8-4db8-a739-9849f8d39621.aspx Mobile Safe Computing Tech
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I recently took advantage of an in-store offer to replace my water-damaged 16GB iPhone 3G with a 8GB version for $199 with no contract extensions, just paid the money and walked out with it. And in my case I got to keep the old one, which makes a great WiFi-enabled MP3 player.

Apparently (according to reports) it's now official policy/program now for Apple stores to allow problematic iPhones where the water damage sensors (there are four of them) have been "tripped" (discolored do to extended water exposure) to be replaced with the same size and model for $199. That's a great move for people like me who do things like ski, boat and oh, I dunno... Live in the freakin' rain.

So, if you have a problematic iPhone that you have been told is not covered under warranty, you might be able to take advantage of this policy.

More info here.



greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2009 - licensed under a Creative Commons License. Water damaged iPhones now exchangeable (and I thought they already were) http://www.greghughes.net/rant/PermaLink,guid,34415a84-c0bb-4587-9b84-1922aa6ef402.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/WaterDamagedIPhonesNowExchangeableAndIThoughtTheyAlreadyWere.aspx Tue, 05 May 2009 17:21:33 GMT <p> I recently took advantage of an in-store offer to replace my water-damaged 16GB iPhone 3G with a 8GB version for $199 with no contract extensions, just paid the money and walked out with it. And in my case I got to keep the old one, which makes a great WiFi-enabled MP3 player. </p> <p> Apparently (according to reports) it's now official policy/program now for Apple stores to allow problematic iPhones where the water damage sensors (there are four of them) have been "tripped" (discolored do to extended water exposure) <a href="http://www.ifoapplestore.com/db/2009/05/04/report-water-damaged-iphones-now-swappable/" target="_blank">to be replaced</a> with the same size and model for $199. That's a great move for people like me who do things like ski, boat and oh, I dunno... Live in the freakin' rain. </p> <p> So, if you have a problematic iPhone that you have been told is not covered under warranty, you might be able to take advantage of this policy. </p> <p> <a href="http://www.ifoapplestore.com/db/2009/05/04/report-water-damaged-iphones-now-swappable/" title="" target="_blank">More info here</a>. </p> <br /> <hr /> <font size="1">greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2009 - licensed under a <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">Creative Commons License</a>.</font> http://www.greghughes.net/rant/CommentView,guid,34415a84-c0bb-4587-9b84-1922aa6ef402.aspx Apple Mobile Tech
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I had breakfast with a friend the other day. He's been writing some really cool iPhone apps and mentioned that he's wanting to focus for the future on apps that can be written and maintained cross-platform. He'll prefer to leave out the platform-specific "extra" functionality, he said, in order to be able to do the bulk of the work once and maximize the deployable surface area.

I got to thinking about this the rest of the day and came up with a whole list of questions for my friend. It's an interesting and logical approach, and certainly not wrong by any stretch of the means. Contrasted against the common move by devs to focus only on the iPhone platform for example, my friend's approach really makes me think. Now, to be clear, I have no idea what it takes to actually deploy an app to the iPhone and also have a version to deploy on Android or RIM devices, or on the upcoming Palm Pre (which looks really cool, by the way), or whatever. At least not without writing each one from scratch. My friend does, though. What I took from our conversation (as a business guy) was that it can be done at least to some extent, but that doing it in a cost-effective way means limiting functionality on any given platform. I may be oversimplifying, and in fact I probably am.

Then today I noticed that Mike Rowehl, who writes "This is Mobility," just posted an interesting article entitled "Please don't mistake my apathy for a lack of understanding," in which he takes on the recent meme suggesting that mobile developers are blindly leaving platforms other than Apple's behind, suck os Nokia's Ovi Store.

Which leads me to ask the obvious question: "What the heck is Nokia's Ovi Store?"

Granted, I'm not buying tons of mobile devices and deploying them like I used to, and certainly I'm not a mobile developer, but I'm still pretty well plugged-in (irony intended).

My past involvement in cross-platform development and porting of apps taught me that it's almost always a complicated and expensive endeavor. But it's not just building the app for the first time that one has to consider. Maintaining multiple platforms of the same app is can also be prohibitively expensive, unless there's a relatively simple and effective way to build once and deploy in many places/platforms. In the mobile world, it just isn't simple, cost effective and reliable enough (from what I can see).

And honestly, I want to choose the best devices and buy apps that take advantage of all the cool features those devices offer. I don't often want apps that leave out the latest hardware features and software enhancements.

Who's doing cross-platform mobile development and truly making it work? How are you doing it? If you've found the way, drop me a line - I'd like to hear about it.



greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2009 - licensed under a Creative Commons License. Why mobile developers don't write for the "other" plaforms http://www.greghughes.net/rant/PermaLink,guid,25cdc2d3-8b69-4c4a-8983-8d5895afb561.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/WhyMobileDevelopersDontWriteForTheOtherPlaforms.aspx Mon, 13 Apr 2009 01:03:07 GMT <p> I had breakfast with a friend the other day. He's been writing some really cool iPhone apps and mentioned that he's wanting to focus for the future on apps that can be written and maintained cross-platform. He'll prefer to leave out the platform-specific "extra" functionality, he said, in order to be able to do the bulk of the work once and maximize the deployable surface area. </p> <p> I got to thinking about this the rest of the day and came up with a whole list of questions for my friend. It's an interesting and logical approach, and certainly not <em>wrong</em> by any stretch of the means. Contrasted against the common move by devs to focus only on the iPhone platform for example, my friend's approach really makes me think. Now, to be clear, I have no idea what it takes to <em>actually</em> deploy an app to the iPhone and <em>also</em> have a version to deploy on Android or RIM devices, or on the upcoming Palm Pre (which looks really cool, by the way), or whatever. At least not without writing each one from scratch. My friend does, though. What I took from our conversation (as a business guy) was that it <em>can</em> be done at least to some extent, but that doing it in a cost-effective way means limiting functionality on any given platform. I may be oversimplifying, and in fact I probably am. </p> <p> Then today I noticed that Mike Rowehl, who writes "This is Mobility," just posted an interesting article entitled "<a href="http://www.thisismobility.com/blog/2009/04/11/please-dont-mistake-my-apathy-for-a-lack-of-understanding/" target="_blank">Please don't mistake my apathy for a lack of understanding</a>," in which he takes on the <a href="http://venturebeat.com/2009/04/11/iphone-devotion-blinds-silicon-valley-app-developers/" target="_blank">recent meme</a> suggesting that mobile developers are blindly leaving platforms other than Apple's behind, suck os Nokia's Ovi Store. </p> <p> Which leads me to ask the obvious question: "What the heck is Nokia's Ovi Store?" </p> <p> Granted, I'm not buying tons of mobile devices and deploying them like I used to, and certainly I'm not a mobile developer, but I'm still pretty well plugged-in (irony intended). </p> <p> My past involvement in cross-platform development and porting of apps taught me that it's almost always a complicated and expensive endeavor. But it's not just building the app for the first time that one has to consider. Maintaining multiple platforms of the same app is can also be prohibitively expensive, unless there's a relatively simple and effective way to build once and deploy in many places/platforms. In the mobile world, it just isn't simple, cost effective and reliable enough (from what I can see). </p> <p> And honestly, I want to choose the best devices and buy apps that take advantage of all the cool features those devices offer. I don't often want apps that leave out the latest hardware features and software enhancements. </p> <p> Who's doing cross-platform mobile development and truly making it work? How are you doing it? If you've found the way, drop me a line - I'd like to hear about it. </p> <br /> <hr /> <font size="1">greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2009 - licensed under a <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">Creative Commons License</a>.</font> http://www.greghughes.net/rant/CommentView,guid,25cdc2d3-8b69-4c4a-8983-8d5895afb561.aspx Mobile Tech
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Since my last post, in which I predicted the newly-minted Google Voice service would be a real positive impact in my world, my Grand Central account was enabled for the upgrade to the new application and I have migrated to the service.

Greg’s One-Line Review: It’s pretty darned awesome.

But you probably want a little more detail than that, so here we go…

First of all, I should explain that I’ve used Grand Central for the past couple years. Grand Central was the centralized phone service that Google acquired some time back, and it allowed one number to ring multiple phones, with centralized voice mail, call screening and recording, etc.

Google Voice builds upon Grand Central by adding a number of new features, including a couple killer apps in my book: Text/SMS messaging and conference calling. Other enhancements include automated transcription of voice messages and a unified inbox for all your text messages and voice mails.

I live in a very rural area, far from the nearest cell phone tower. Mobile service on my iPhone is – for all intents and purposes – nonexistent at my house. If I put the phone up on a certain window sill and avoid moving it or touching it, I can get marginal service and might be able to receive text messages. But sending messages and making/receiving phone calls is next to impossible.

By giving people my Google Voice number (which is 503-766-2258 by the way), my friends and colleagues can send me text message and call me at one number, regardless of where I am and what services are available at my location. When someone calls the number, Google Voice rings my cell and home phones at the same time. I can add other phone numbers to the ring list, as well – on the fly. So, if I’m working from an office number I can add it to the list, no problem. I can define time periods to each phone, so individual phones ring only when I want them to.

Google Voice SMS I rely on text messaging for a lot of things, and many of my friends, family members and colleagues also rely on it to reach me. Needless to say, with poor wireless phone service at home, there are times when I don’t receive and cannot send text messages. That pretty much defeats the purpose of using text messaging to reach people in real time. With Google Voice, text messages send to my number are delivered to my phone and to my Google Voice Inbox, meaning even if the phone service prevents delivery, I get the text messages in my web browser and can reply to them there. That’s huge for me – and I have already taken advantage of the ability to send and receive text messages from my computer.

There are a few things I hoped I’d find in Google Voice that aren’t there, at least not there yet. I’m hopeful they’ll be added in the future:

  • No support for sending text messages to groups – While you can create groups of contacts in the unified Google Voice inbox, you can only send messages to individual contacts. Since I lead a youth group at church, and we rely on text messaging to send out regular communications, I’d especially like to be able to send a single message to a group. As it is today, I can send a message to multiple contacts at once from my iPhone and just save the thread and keep replying to it, but when the group membership changes I have to start from scratch. It would be much easier and more reasonable to send to a single group managed in Google Voice.
  • I’m a Google Apps user and have an Apps email account under the same Google account as the one I am using for Google Voice. I’m not sure why, but behavior is not as expected when I click on the Mail link at the top of the page from Google Voice. Rather than taking me to my Google Apps email inbox, it takes me to a page where it asks me to sign up for a GMail account. All other Google applications seem to understand where to go when that link is clicked, but this one doesn’t yet. I’m sure this is just early/beta stuff that needs to be worked out, but it also means my contacts are not synchronized across my Mail and Voice inboxes, which is unfortunate (they’ve already enabled unified contacts sync with GMail account inboxes).
  • Support for syncing external contacts on the server side – While I was able to export my Outlook contacts, which are maintained on an Exchange server, as a CSV file and then import them without any issues into Google Voice, even better would be the ability to keep them up to date and in sync via the Google Voice service on the back end, maybe using ActiveSync or something similar. I’ll have to look for contact syncing software instead, since managing the sync effort by hand won’t really work for me.

All in all, Google Voice is a great app that’s already changing my ability to communicate. People in rural areas with marginal mobile service could really benefit from Google’s new offering. I’m looking forward to seeing what they deliver next!



greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2009 - licensed under a Creative Commons License. Google Voice &ndash; Making multiple phone management simple and usable http://www.greghughes.net/rant/PermaLink,guid,ca1fa0ed-3969-44ad-b6ec-66663bd35b4d.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/GoogleVoiceNdashMakingMultiplePhoneManagementSimpleAndUsable.aspx Mon, 23 Mar 2009 20:03:17 GMT <p> Since my <a href="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/NewTechIrsquomAnxiouslyAwaitingGoogleVoiceAndTheAtampt3GMicrocell.aspx">last post</a>, in which I predicted the newly-minted <a href="http://www.google.com/voice" target="_blank">Google Voice</a> service would be a real positive impact in my world, my Grand Central account was enabled for the upgrade to the new application and I have migrated to the service. </p> <p> Greg’s One-Line Review: It’s pretty darned awesome. </p> <p> But you probably want a little more detail than that, so here we go… </p> <p> First of all, I should explain that I’ve used Grand Central for the past couple years. Grand Central was the centralized phone service that Google acquired some time back, and it allowed one number to ring multiple phones, with centralized voice mail, call screening and recording, etc. </p> <p> Google Voice builds upon Grand Central by <a href="https://www.google.com/voice/about" target="_blank">adding a number of new features</a>, including a couple killer apps in my book: Text/SMS messaging and conference calling. Other enhancements include automated transcription of voice messages and a unified inbox for all your text messages and voice mails. </p> <p> I live in a very rural area, far from the nearest cell phone tower. Mobile service on my iPhone is – for all intents and purposes – nonexistent at my house. If I put the phone up on a certain window sill and avoid moving it or touching it, I can get marginal service and might be able to receive text messages. But sending messages and making/receiving phone calls is next to impossible. </p> <p> By giving people my Google Voice number (which is 503-766-2258 by the way), my friends and colleagues can send me text message and call me at one number, regardless of where I am and what services are available at my location. When someone calls the number, Google Voice rings my cell and home phones at the same time. I can add other phone numbers to the ring list, as well – on the fly. So, if I’m working from an office number I can add it to the list, no problem. I can define time periods to each phone, so individual phones ring only when I want them to. </p> <p> <a href="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/content/binary/WindowsLiveWriter/GoogleVoiceMakingtheworldofphonemanageme_A15D/image_2.png"><img style="border-bottom: 0px; border-left: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 15px 15px; display: inline; border-top: 0px; border-right: 0px" title="Google Voice SMS" border="0" alt="Google Voice SMS" align="right" src="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/content/binary/WindowsLiveWriter/GoogleVoiceMakingtheworldofphonemanageme_A15D/image_thumb.png" width="244" height="156"></a> I rely on text messaging for a lot of things, and many of my friends, family members and colleagues also rely on it to reach me. Needless to say, with poor wireless phone service at home, there are times when I don’t receive and cannot send text messages. That pretty much defeats the purpose of using text messaging to reach people in real time. With Google Voice, text messages send to my number are delivered to my phone and to my Google Voice Inbox, meaning even if the phone service prevents delivery, I get the text messages in my web browser and can reply to them there. That’s huge for me – and I have already taken advantage of the ability to send and receive text messages from my computer. </p> <p> There are a few things I hoped I’d find in Google Voice that aren’t there, at least not there <em>yet</em>. I’m hopeful they’ll be added in the future: </p> <ul> <li> No support for sending text messages to groups – While you can create groups of contacts in the unified Google Voice inbox, you can only send messages to individual contacts. Since I lead a youth group at church, and we rely on text messaging to send out regular communications, I’d especially like to be able to send a single message to a group. As it is today, I can send a message to multiple contacts at once from my iPhone and just save the thread and keep replying to it, but when the group membership changes I have to start from scratch. It would be much easier and more reasonable to send to a single group managed in Google Voice.</li> <li> I’m a Google Apps user and have an Apps email account under the same Google account as the one I am using for Google Voice. I’m not sure why, but behavior is not as expected when I click on the Mail link at the top of the page from Google Voice. Rather than taking me to my Google Apps email inbox, it takes me to a page where it asks me to sign up for a GMail account. All other Google applications seem to understand where to go when that link is clicked, but this one doesn’t yet. I’m sure this is just early/beta stuff that needs to be worked out, but it also means my contacts are not synchronized across my Mail and Voice inboxes, which is unfortunate (they’ve already enabled unified contacts sync with GMail account inboxes).</li> <li> Support for syncing external contacts on the server side – While I was able to export my Outlook contacts, which are maintained on an Exchange server, as a CSV file and then import them without any issues into Google Voice, even better would be the ability to keep them up to date and in sync via the Google Voice service on the back end, maybe using ActiveSync or something similar. I’ll have to look for contact syncing software instead, since managing the sync effort by hand won’t really work for me.</li> </ul> <p> All in all, Google Voice is a great app that’s already changing my ability to communicate. People in rural areas with marginal mobile service could really benefit from Google’s new offering. I’m looking forward to seeing what they deliver next! </p> <br /> <hr /> <font size="1">greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2009 - licensed under a <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">Creative Commons License</a>.</font> http://www.greghughes.net/rant/CommentView,guid,ca1fa0ed-3969-44ad-b6ec-66663bd35b4d.aspx Mobile Tech
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I live in a remote location where you can barely get wireless service. I have to place my mobile phone on a window sill in just the right spot, and if I do that I will often get marginal service – enough to receive text messages most of the time, at least. Depending on the weather and atmospheric conditions, I sometimes get no signal at all.

There are two pieces of forthcoming technology that I plan to use to improve my situation as soon as they are available: Google Voice and the at&t 3G Microcell.

493252364-GoogleVoice_02 Google Voice was just announced late last week, and is an upgraded version of the services I already use via Grand Central, which Google acquired about a year and a half ago. Grand Central gives you one number and voicemail box for calls, and Google Voice expands in that by enabling SMS messages to the common number, with web and email access to the txt messages. I should note the service is free. The new features will be huge for me, since my ability to send and receive txt messages from home is limited at best, and often unreliable. I already have Grand Central routing voice calls to my home-office and cell phones at the same time, so the SMS addition will be welcome. Google is also adding voice mail transcription (machine transcribed) and some other nice features like built-in conference calling. They started upgrading people who already have Grand Central accounts a couple days ago, but mine has yet to be enabled for an upgrade. So, I am impatiently waiting. they say new users will be able to sign up in the coming weeks. More information about features available on Google Voice can be found here.

Microcell On another front, month or so ago, the tech news/rumor world was all excited about the pending at&t wireless 3G Microcell, which is a device that a user can plug into their broadband connection at home or in an office to create what amounts to a short-range personal wireless tower. I am luck enough to have terrific fast broadband service via a rural wireless transport provider called Cascade Networks, so I’ll be able to take advantage of the new at&t hardware when it’s available. Unfortunately, there’s been no news recently about availability of the 3G Microcell, but I’m hopeful it will be available soon. Having that available would enable me to consider shutting off my home phone service and possibly saving that monthly cost. The 3G Microcell is rumored to support data and voice for a few devices at a time, and who-knows in the cost department. All I know is it would improve my ability to communicate, which would be a welcome change.



greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2009 - licensed under a Creative Commons License. New tech I&rsquo;m anxiously awaiting: Google Voice and the at&amp;t 3G Microcell http://www.greghughes.net/rant/PermaLink,guid,d51fd353-9dbf-42a9-98a3-98592e353f66.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/NewTechIrsquomAnxiouslyAwaitingGoogleVoiceAndTheAtampt3GMicrocell.aspx Sun, 15 Mar 2009 20:25:18 GMT <p> I live in a remote location where you can barely get wireless service. I have to place my mobile phone on a window sill in just the right spot, and if I do that I will often get marginal service – enough to receive text messages most of the time, at least. Depending on the weather and atmospheric conditions, I sometimes get no signal at all. </p> <p> There are two pieces of forthcoming technology that I plan to use to improve my situation as soon as they are available: Google Voice and the at&amp;t 3G Microcell. </p> <p> <img style="border-bottom: 0px; border-left: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 10px 15px; display: inline; border-top: 0px; border-right: 0px" title="493252364-GoogleVoice_02" border="0" alt="493252364-GoogleVoice_02" align="right" src="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/content/binary/WindowsLiveWriter/NewtechImwaitingforGoogleVoiceandATT3GMi_B6C8/493252364-GoogleVoice_02_3.gif" width="191" height="70"> <a href="http://www.google.com/voice/intl/en/" target="_blank">Google Voice</a> was just announced late last week, and is an upgraded version of the services I already use via Grand Central, which Google acquired about a year and a half ago. Grand Central gives you one number and voicemail box for calls, and Google Voice expands in that by enabling SMS messages to the common number, with web and email access to the txt messages. I should note the service is free. The new features will be huge for me, since my ability to send and receive txt messages from home is limited at best, and often unreliable. I already have Grand Central routing voice calls to my home-office and cell phones at the same time, so the SMS addition will be welcome. Google is also adding voice mail transcription (machine transcribed) and some other nice features like built-in conference calling. They started upgrading people who already have Grand Central accounts a couple days ago, but mine has yet to be enabled for an upgrade. So, I am impatiently waiting. they say new users will be able to sign up in the coming weeks. More information about features available on Google Voice <a href="https://www.google.com/voice/about" target="_blank">can be found here</a>. </p> <p> <a href="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/content/binary/WindowsLiveWriter/NewtechImwaitingforGoogleVoiceandATT3GMi_B6C8/Microcell_2.jpg"><img style="border-bottom: 0px; border-left: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 10px 15px; display: inline; border-top: 0px; border-right: 0px" title="Microcell" border="0" alt="Microcell" align="right" src="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/content/binary/WindowsLiveWriter/NewtechImwaitingforGoogleVoiceandATT3GMi_B6C8/Microcell_thumb.jpg" width="240" height="167"></a>On another front, month or so ago, the tech news/rumor world was all excited about the pending <a href="http://www.wireless.att.com/dcom//English/staticContent/html/help_ATT3GMicroCell_cms.html" target="_blank">at&amp;t wireless 3G Microcell</a>, which is a device that a user can plug into their broadband connection at home or in an office to create what amounts to a short-range personal wireless tower. I am luck enough to have terrific fast broadband service via a rural wireless transport provider called Cascade Networks, so I’ll be able to take advantage of the new at&amp;t hardware when it’s available. Unfortunately, there’s been no news recently about availability of the 3G Microcell, but I’m hopeful it will be available soon. Having that available would enable me to consider shutting off my home phone service and possibly saving that monthly cost. The 3G Microcell is rumored to support data and voice for a few devices at a time, and who-knows in the cost department. All I know is it would improve my ability to communicate, which would be a welcome change. </p> <br /> <hr /> <font size="1">greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2009 - licensed under a <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">Creative Commons License</a>.</font> http://www.greghughes.net/rant/CommentView,guid,d51fd353-9dbf-42a9-98a3-98592e353f66.aspx Mobile Tech